12 December

Each year on 12 December, the world celebrates the International Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day)

universal health coverage day

Each year on 12 December, the world celebrates the International Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day), an official UN-designated day, to raise awareness of the need for strong, equitable and resilient health systems and universal health coverage (UHC). UHC is based on the principle that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality essential health services without suffering financial hardship. It is a goal that cuts across all health targets and is such a beacon of hope for a healthier and more equitable world. UHC Day marks the anniversary of the UN’s historic and unanimous endorsement of UHC in 2012 as an essential priority for international development. Since then, it has become the annual rallying point for the growing movement for health for all. Every 12 December (12.12), advocates raise their voices to share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health, to call on leaders to make smarter investments in health and to remind the world the imperative of Health for All.

The theme of UHC Day 2020 is ‘Health for all: protect everyone. To end this crisis and build a safer and healthier future, we must invest in health systems that protect us all — now”

UHC Day Campaign on 12 December 2020 will mark one year since the first cases of COVID-19 were reported. UHC Day Campaign 2020 must remind the world that health for all is not a long-term wish, but an urgent priority to end this crisis and emerge stronger. Considering this global challenge that we are currently facing, the theme and primary narrative of campaigns this year will be: “HEALTH FOR ALL: PROTECT EVERYONE. To end this crisis and build a safer and healthier future, we must invest in health systems that protect us all — now.” The choice is not between health security or UHC: strong, equitable systems grounded in primary health care and human rights are needed for both. It is critical not to wait until the crisis is past to accelerate political and financial commitments to achieve UHC. Instead, leaders must prioritize investments in strong, equitable health systems that protect everyone, respond to emergencies and leave no one behind in the future. In 2020, UHC Day campaign will evolve to the next stage of the global movement – more localized and sustainable campaigns, i.e. more digital campaign materials will be made available so that local campaigners can customize them to include their local languages and adapt them to their local contexts.

How to get involved

The UHC Day 2020 campaign website is now live.  Please check the webpage frequently to find updates of campaign materials in the coming weeks. You will also be able to learn about events organised by other partners around the world

Some useful online tools will be introduced to help campaigners to plan and organize virtual campaigns for free or at low cost. Various UHC umbrella products can be ordered online. NOTE: group order started on 12 October and will close on 2 November.

Results of 2019 Campaign

UHC Day Campaign 2019 was the culmination of a defining year for the UHC movement. Three months after the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC (UN HLM), which resulted in the most ambitious and comprehensive health declaration in history, the 2019 campaign urged world leaders to “Keep the Promise” of their commitments (see the State of UHC Commitment). Led by the multi-stakeholder Coordinating Group of UHC Day (12.12.CG)1 hosted by UHC20302, the sixth UHC Day focused on country ownership and accountability. Following the momentum of the UN HLM, the number of global partner events and social media engagement surged, overcoming the number of activities in years past. Overview of the past UHC Day campaigns

See results of past campaigns:

• 229 events in 2019 (68 countries). 872M Twitter impressions, with 537M on 12.12 alone.

• 186 events in 2018 (60 countries). 895M Twitter impressions, with 379M on 12.12 alone.

• 164 events in 2017 (45 countries), inc’l UHC Forum in Tokyo.1.2B Twitter impressions.

Background to UHC Day

On 12 December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously endorsed a resolution urging countries to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage (UHC) – the idea that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality, affordable health care – as an essential priority for international development.

In 2014, the Universal Health Coverage Coalition started to celebrate 12 December as UHC Day, to commemorate the date on which the UN General Assembly officially recognised the importance of UHC. Since then, the day has become the annual rallying point for the growing global movement for Health for All. 

On 12 December 2017, UNGA proclaimed 12 December as International Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) by resolution, making it an official UN-designated day. 

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