UCGH selects three issues that are representative of the National Member Organization’s campaigns and compatible of our advocacy mission.The key issues are:
- Ensuring Health Equity
- Strengthening Health Systems
- Access to Essential Medicines
Ensuring Health Equity…
Achieving equity in global health means eliminating avoidable differences in health and providing health care based on need. In today’s world, the burden of disease is growing disproportionately in developing countries, where people die from preventable or avoidable diseases associated with low socioeconomic status.Health inequities stem from many social factors like: lack of education, clean water, safe housing, unemployment, access to health care services, urban slums, unsafe workplaces, stigma and racial/gender discrimination and violence.
How does UCGH work to ensure health equity?
UCGH supports campaigns and projects that address the social factors leading to ill health and inequities, like addressing debt relief, unemployment, globalization and lack of access to health-care services. Most of our equity work is centered on HIV/AIDS and child health campaigns that address the social determinants of health.
Strengthening Health Systems…
A health system involves all the organizations, institutions and resources whose primary purpose is to improve health. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health systems as “all the activities whose primary purpose is to promote, restore, or maintain health.” The report also stated that the main objective of a health system is to improve health by responding to people’s needs and expectations and by providing services in a fair and equitable manner.
Components of health systems according to the WHO are:
- Service delivery
- Health information system
- Medical products and technologies
- Health-care workers
- Leadership and governance
How does UCGH work to strengthen health systems?
UCGH supports policies that promote the creation of sustainable health systems and call for the United States to invest an additional $8 billion dollars over the next five years in the training, retention and support of health workers in Africa.
Access to Essential Medicines
There are many barriers to providing care and proper medication for people living in developing countries. The prices of medicines and vaccines are so high that most people do not have access to the life saving drugs that they need. Recently, generic competition into the global market has catalyzed a dramatic drop in drug prices. This is the first step in the right direction, but still much more needs to be done to reform international patent laws and promote research of medicines that are applicable to the developing world.
How does UCGH work to provide access to essential medicines?
UCGH encourages all students to be informed about the unfair trade regulations that reduce access for millions of people globally. We host events and campaigns that encourage the development of generic medications and question the validity of United States trade laws and International Monetary Fund (IMF) that act as obstacles to access in the developing world.