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The national commemoration of the Universal Health Care day was held today. The event which was organized by the Consortium of Reproductive Health Associations (CORHA) involved various partners.

Speaking on the occasion Sarah Masale, UNFPA Deputy Representative, highlighted the linkage between universal health coverage and sexual and reproductive health and rights noting that many of the basic health needs are linked to people’s sexual and reproductive health. She went on to indicate that “universal access to SRHR cannot be achieved without defining a clear pathway towards attaining universal health coverage, which includes prioritizing resources according to health needs.”

A study commissioned by the UNFPA Ethiopia Country assessing the status of universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and the progress made towards ensuring universal health care in Ethiopia was presented on the occasion. The study gave a special emphasis in assessing the inclusion of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights services in the UHC benefit package in Ethiopia. A presentation made by the Ministry of Health at the event also provided an update on the status of sexual and reproductive health in the context of universal health coverage.

The participants reiterated to achieve the universal health coverage commitment of the Sustainable Development Goals through such important actions as strengthening public-private partnerships.

Universal health coverage became an agreed global goal five years ago during the endorsement of the Sustainable Development Goals. World leaders made a political declaration last year at the United Nations General Assembly recommitting to achieving universal health coverage by 2030. The declaration re-emphasized the right to health for all and a commitment to achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health services and reproductive rights as stated in the SDGs.