Over 100 health and development organisations, including several IAPB members, sign advocacy letter to body working on SDGs monitoring framework
Universal health coverage (UHC) is a target under the health goal for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be finalised in September 2015. The UHC target is a key one for eye health – there is a need for a more sustainable, universal approach to health and comprehensive building up of health system capacities, within which eye health can be integrated, as acknowledged in the “Universal eye health; A global action plan 2014 -2019” (GAP). Further, the recent joint WHO/ World Bank report ‘Tracking Universal Health Coverage First Global Monitoring Report’, recognises the usefulness of cataract surgical coverage as an indicator to contribute to measuring success in universal health coverage.
Various iterations of the proposal for measuring UHC within the SDGs fell far short of expectations. IAPB and many members joined health NGOs in a call to the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) to ensure measurement of UHC is adequate in the final version of the indicators. As has been made clear by civil society partners, the WHO and World Bank, UHC comprises both measures of service coverage and financial protection, and measuring only one component would give a worryingly incomplete picture of progress which may negatively affect SDG implementation. Further it could reduce possibilities for entry points for advocating for eye health inclusion when it comes to setting national level priorities. Measurement largely directs policy and SDG indicators will have significant consequences for SDG implementation.
The IAEG – SDGs is made up of a number of member states’ national statistic offices. If your country is listed here we would also encourage you to send a copy of the final letter to your national statistics office.