International Planned Parenthood Federation

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144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
5.5.1 Primary health care towards universal health coverage

IPPF strongly believes that the fulfilment of the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as reaffirmed in the Astana Declaration, is a pre-requisite to achieve UHC and ultimately the SDGs.
Despite some progress, it is unacceptable that in the 21st century half of the world’s population still lacks access to essential health services or people are pushed into extreme poverty due to out-of-pocket health expenses.
We welcome the Declaration of Astana on primary health care, which constitutes a good basis for our discussions regarding the high-level meeting on UHC. Nevertheless, and while recognizing the important commitments on primary health care and health system strengthening made thereof, we must be more ambitious. Primary health care should make sure that the most underserved access quality health care and that health systems are able to respond to social determinants of health based on gender such as sexual and GBV.
We welcome WHO’s leadership and commitment to achieve UHC and look forward to support and collaborate towards this end. In this regard, we reiterate our support to WHO’s 13th General Programme of Work, in particular the link between UHC, primary health care and sexual and reproductive health services
Statistics and various studies and research have shown that weak health outcomes are strongly interrelated to gender inequalities, inequities, discrimination, violence, and lack of access to SRHR information, education and services. The goal of reaching UHC is only possible if women and girls have the means and the tools to decide freely if, when and how many children to have as well as the necessary information and services.
Harmful social and cultural norms that hinder people’s ability to access health services, in particular women, children, LGBTQI+, marginalized and vulnerable groups must be fully addressed. Otherwise, we will fail the Agenda 2030 commitment of leaving no one behind.