What Universal Health Coverage Means To Me

Ivan Fredrick Kasonko is the founder and Team Leader of Key Populations Uganda, a youth led Organization, which  advocates and implements programs focusing on sustainable development, through  raising awareness of reproductive health for at risk youth, as he trains and empowers them in the areas of social rights activism.

He was at the Africa Health Agenda International Conference in Kigali, Rwanda with support from the UNFPA and Restless Development earlier this month. He facilitated a session at the Pre Youth Conference and co hosted a launch event with UNFPA ESARO.

Universal Health Coverage is where everyone, anywhere has access to health services required in order to protect, maintain and improve their health.

Therefore Universal Health Coverage is an important component for sustainable development, and acts as a catalyst to reduce social inequities. Universal Health Coverage is also a hallmark of government’s commitment to improve the well being of all citizens regardless of who they are.  


Taking the views from the Africa Health Agenda International Conference in achieving universal coverage will need affordable essential medicines and sufficient capacity of well trained and motivated health workers to provide services and meet patient needs. Furthermore it will also take actions to address social determinants of health like education and conditions of living.

We cannot achieve the Universal Health Coverage without listening to the health needs of most at risk youth. Taking into account of their needs not only improves their well being but contributes to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage Agenda.

Ivan presenting at the Africa Health Agenda International Conference in Kigali,

Universal Coverage is based on the World Health Organization constitution of 1948 which declared health as a fundamental human right. Health targets were set by the Alma  – Ata declaration in 1978. This means that tracking universal health coverage should be inclusive across different divides.

I am positive that the commitment from stakeholders such as Government ministers, particularly those who represented the Health ministry’s, are keen to involve young people to achieve Universal Health Coverage without leaving anyone behind. Having met the Uganda State Minister of Health and Primary Health care, Hon Sarah Opendi, and witnessing her emphasizing the importance of better Health systems for Uganda with the Youth involvement in order to achieve UHC, the Ministers commitment to involve youth in health matters has brought me hope for the future. More young people will be given the space to make decisions in health policies that matter to them.


I want to see a world where everyone can live a healthy and productive life regardless of who they are. Everyone will be able to fulfill their potential in a dignified, equal and healthy environment.

The Restless Development team at the Africa Health Agenda International Conference in Kigali,


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What Universal Health Coverage Means To Me

by wearerestless Reading time: 2 min