Parliamentarians will now have greater access to resources to make informed decisions on Universal Health Coverage after the World Health Organization in partnership with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) launched the IPU-WHO handbook on Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general who was speaking at the 146th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly from March 11 to 15 said: “It therefore gives me great pleasure to launch the new UHC handbook, a joint project of WHO and the IPU, which can help to guide you along the path towards universal health coverage, in accordance with the landmark 2019 IPU resolution.”
The IPU-WHO Handbook on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) follows up on the 2019 IPU resolution on UHC. It introduces parliamentarians to the concept and importance of UHC and describes the key roles they can play to make progress by offering practical and actionable recommendations.
Gaudenz Silberschmidt, head of the WHO delegation, also addressed the plenary during the General Debate highlighted that the longstanding collaboration between WHO and IPU to improve parliamentary engagement on health has never been more critical.
During the assembly there was also a side event on ‘UHC and Health Taxes’ to raise awareness on the need to further leverage the role of parliamentarians to progress towards UHC and how they can strengthen their roles at the country level.
The WHO also presented a plan of work with the IPU during the meeting of the IPU Advisory Group on Health.
The new work plan confirms the three priority areas of the collaboration: UHC, global health security and promoting health, especially for vulnerable groups, including women, children and adolescents health. It also includes two new areas: the role of parliamentarians in supporting Sustainable Financing for WHO and the Pandemic Accord.
Furthermore, WHO and IPU co-organised a workshop on Sexual and Reproductive Health, with a focus on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). This workshop brought together parliamentarians to share perspectives on CSE from their national contexts.