“Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means that all people can access quality essential health services, without having to suffer financial hardship to pay for health care.” Says the World Bank which teamed up with WHO in 2017 to monitor progress with this target. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/health/publication/universal-health-coverage-study-series
“Each year, close to 100 million people are being pushed into extreme poverty because of health expenses, and 800 million spend more than ten percent of their household budgets on health care. Achieving UHC is not just about better health outcomes. The overarching goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)–ending extreme poverty–will remain out of reach without UHC.” [World Bank]
Achieving UHC is one of the targets the nations of the world set when adopting the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 but, despite this, at least half the world’s population has to pay for some or all essential health services. People in the poorest countries are the worst affected.
Colleagues in Cameroon, who have been trained by NICHE International to teach a Neonatal Care Course, recently taught this course in Yaoundé. An important part of the course is the teaching of skin to skin mother care, also called kangaroo care. This has many advantages and is advocated by WHO as a way of promoting the healthy survival of babies.
Candidates on the course recognised these advantages -see comment below from one candidate.
- I must comment I learnt a lot on demonstration of S2SMC (skin to skin mothercare) which i thought i could do it but just realised I was far below standard. This training is so empowering. Keep up.
However, a problem that became clear during the course, is that one of the hospitals in Yaoundé asks parents for payment whenever a baby is nursed in an incubator. The hospital management is therefore unwilling for their nurses to introduce skin to skin mother care, as when a baby is nursed with his/her mother, the hospital does not get this payment. This is despite the fact that skin to skin care is usually better and safer than incubator care, particularly in poorer countries.
There is still much to do to advocate for safe basic healthcare for newborn babies.
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