Digital Health Week: Fighting for Universal Health Coverage

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Digital Health Week is an annual event dedicated to sharing and promoting the value of technological solutions in the context of global health. DHW creates a very needed platform to discuss Universal Health Coverage and call CSOs governments, private companies and health institutions to join forces and together build a digital health future for everyone. 

This year’s edition is about to be held on 10-16 October.

Digital Health Week ‘22 Theme

This year’s edition is centered around a signigficant goal:

Bridging the technical-political divide

Achieving the goal of Universal Health Coverage requires the engagement of many different institutions and organizations. To efficiently and effectively work towards this goal, we first need to establish collaborative structures that would enable successful collaboration between technology providers and governmental institutions. It’s our shared responsibility to reach the goal.

Important note: the deadline has been changed and is now September 15!

Technology solutions can significantly accelerate the process of achieving UHC. They are often scalable and affordable. They also create new ways in which medical care can reach the people in need. The challenge here is to utilize these solutions in alignment with public health values and human rights. It requires active political support from public institutions, adequate levels of funding, policies, legislation and regulation, as well as responsible health data governance

Universal Health Coverage right now

World leaders pledged to “leave no one behind”, and set the goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage by 2030. What it means is that by 2030 all necessary healthcare services will be accessible to every single person around the world, without financial hardship. Although many countries are making progress in this field, the global situation of UHC still leaves a lot to be wished for. 

On the graph below you can see global UHC scores throughout the years, and now:

digital health week universal health coverage

The upward tendency is the result of many institutions and organizations putting hard work into achieving the UHC goal. However, it is still not enough to reach it by 2030. There are places in the world where the health coverage situation is still dramatic. In 2020 in Haiti the average UHC was reaching the number 28 on the performance scale. It’s two times lower than the global average.

If we won’t bring global focus to this issue, Universal Health Coverage will still be what it is right now – a distant goal that we keep on chasing, but cannot reach. And while we do that, there are people around the world, suffering and unable to get the medical help that they need.

That’s why events such as Digital Health Week are so important.

How to participate in Digital Health Week?

There are various ways in which you can join the movement:

Host a public event

If you want to actively share and discuss specific topics, you can host a public event. It can involve the challenges in digitizing healthcare solutions in your region, the projects or achievements, case studies, your own experiences as a professional dealing with digital health. 

Make a public commitment

You can use the DHW platform to announce your organizations’ commitment. If you have a project that is headed towards measurable outcome, it’s a perfect place to share it and be held accountable. 

Tell your digital health story

Spreading awareness on the importance of digital health is an essential part of this movement. Public and private institutions need to realize how much technology can improve the global health situation. During DHW you can share your digital health stories in different forms: short videos, quotes, podcasts, articles.

You can find the full participation guide here.

Registration for the event ends on 15 September 2022.

Sources

Digital Health Week
Gates Foundation | Global Progress and Projections for Universal Health Coverage
Transform Health | The Case for Digital Health: Accelerating Progress to Achieve UHC

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