Today, December 12th, is International Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day), an opportunity to advocate for more equitable health systems that leave no one behind. UHC Day is particularly important this year as 2018 marks 40 years since the Alma Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care and Health for All.
At Pathfinder, we strive to uphold the “Leave No One Behind” principle of universal health coverage by going where the need is greatest and focusing on rural and vulnerable populations. This means implementing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) through a panoramic view—one that integrates community and health systems strengthening, and makes linkages with sectors beyond health. High-quality service delivery is an essential ingredient, but we believe this integrated, whole-systems approach to SRHR is critical to fully unleashing the power of girls and women to transform their lives and change the world.
Pathfinder’s strategic framework identifies clear organizational priorities that reinforce our mission, values, and unwavering commitment to comprehensive SRHR. As a management tool, this strategic framework provides goals and priorities that guide Pathfinder’s day-to-day work.
Our framework represents our staff’s commitment to achieving health for all—for everyone, everywhere. Specifically, we see our areas of greatest impact as follows:
- Build the capacity of health systems and communities to deliver comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services.
- Strengthen the delivery of maternal and newborn care.
- Empower adolescents and youth to access sexual and reproductive health information and services and to advocate for their rights.
We see our areas of growth as follows:
- Invest holistically in women and girls, men and boys to advance gender equality and address harmful gender norms.
- Expand activities on population, health, and environment by integrating SRHR into conservation, livelihood, food security, and resilience programs.
- Strengthen host community, social, and health systems to address the SRHR needs of refugees and other displaced populations.
Pathfinder’s strategic framework aligns with the findings of the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission report, which presents a positive, progressive, and evidence-based agenda for global, regional, and national progress on SRHR to 2030 and beyond.
Pathfinder’s strategic framework supports all UHC pillars. I would like to expand on two.
- Engaging Community Voices: Ensuring that all people, regardless of race, gender, age, citizenship or ability, are represented in the movement for UHC.
In addition to our global partnerships, we create demand for sexual and reproductive health programs through partnership with communities. This includes providing safe spaces that promote social accountability and respond to client demand for quality-assured sexual and reproductive health care and commodities. We advocate for health facilities to offer comprehensive sexual and reproductive health programs tailored to meet targeted community needs that are culturally and age appropriate, youth friendly, and gender sensitive. Public participation and citizen sensitization are key to enhance social accountability skills and engage duty bearers on stock-outs.
- Investing More & Smarter: Mobilizing resources equitably and efficiently—including by aligning funds across diverse issue areas—to ensure everyone can get the health care they need without fear of financial hardship.
We advocate for financing sexual and reproductive health programs through social insurance schemes, such as national insurance funds. Domestic resource mobilization, through costed implementation plans, from both national and sub-national governments will help in sustaining financing for sexual and reproductive health. Resources should start to increase domestically as governments reduce reliance on external aid. Domestic financing of contraceptives, particularly those that are largely donor dependent, must cover a full range of contraceptive methods. This requires a seamless supply chain management system from the lowest tier of the health system to central store levels.
We are committed to country-led solutions to achieving universal SRHR in our collective pursuit of health for all. Now is the time to leverage our strong and enduring relationships with governments, champions, and partners around the globe to arrive at a common advocacy agenda that expands access and transforms communities. Only then will we achieve health for all. Only then will we truly be #ByHerSide.
Click to tweet: “@# in our collective pursuit of # . #UHCDay is committed to country-led solutions in order to achieve universal