The Expo 2020 Dubai hosted the World Health Organization’s (WHO's) celebration of the Universal Health Coverage Day, which falls on December 12, under the theme “Leave no one's health behind: invest in health systems for all”.
On this occasion, the Expo 2020 Dubai devoted one day to celebrating the global efforts on the journey towards universal health coverage and advancing the sustainable development goals (SDGs) for global prosperity.
The ceremony was attended by HE Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, Her Excellency Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of the state for international cooperation and Director General Office, Expo 2020 Dubai, HE Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector, and officials from the government health sector.
Attending from WHO were Dr. Tedros Adhanom, WHO Director-General, Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO’s Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, and a number of officials in the health sector and WHO.
Also attending were an elite group of international speakers who shared their insights and aspirations on universal coverage and how to create a healthy enabling environment for communities.
The event constitutes a global platform and a perfect opportunity for decision-makers and representatives of organizations and pavilions of over 100 countries participating in Expo 2020 Dubai to discuss future strategies, in order to develop a global universal health coverage system, which enhances the ability of countries to provide positive initiatives for societies.
It's also an opportunity to forge permanent partnerships and offer effective solutions for the challenges facing our world today in light of the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A common goal
In his speech, HE Abdul Rahman bin Muhammad Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, welcomed WHO Director-General and all the attendees and thanked the organization and its staff for their tremendous efforts in promoting and developing cooperation opportunities among the Member States.
"Our common goal today is to continue working to strengthen cooperation as part of our endeavors to realize universal health coverage. This is achieved by joining forces, exchanging experiences, taking advantage of all available tools and resources and harnessing knowledge and technology, and everything that would contribute to raising the level of health care services and access to quality healthy life," added Al Owais.
Supporting WHO efforts
"The UAE, through the hosting of this global event, would like to reaffirm its keenness to promote synergy among member states, to move towards achieving sustainable development and quality health care in the world, in addition to playing an effective and impactful role in supporting the efforts of the World Health Organization,"
Al Owais said that the event coincides with the celebrations of UAE's golden jubilee, a stage in which the state strives to achieve a paradigm shift in its development march, prepare plans and projects, and anticipate the future of the next fifty years.
This represents a qualitative addition to the UAE's efforts to support the system of joint work with the World Health Organization, he said in conclusion.
Health care for all
HE Dr. Hussain Al Rand commended the tremendous efforts made by WHO to achieve universal health coverage and fight the coronavirus and its mutated strains.
Al Rand highlighted the importance of the event in building joint global strategies to support equitable access to universal coverage, especially vaccines, treatments, and health services on the basis of principles of solidarity and sustainability, through approaches based on access to basic health care services for all.
Universal Health Coverage Day objectives
This year's Universal Health Coverage Day aims to unite global health leaders to identify gaps and stimulate efforts around universal health coverage at the global level 2030. It also seeks to update data, the impact of the pandemic, and identify areas of progress to focus on.
The day also aims to highlight the efforts of the international community to achieve universal health coverage by emphasizing the importance of the resilience of governments and organizations, as well as the UAE's strategic participation in accelerating progress towards universal health coverage and sustainable development goals.