Advance Health

Individual and collective health are jeopardized by an array of challenges, including food insecurity and poor nutrition, infectious and non-communicable diseases, and, in many developing countries, enormous out-of-pocket costs that force poor and vulnerable populations into financial ruin.

The Rockefeller Foundation supports innovative strategies that incentivize individuals, communities, and governments to address the breadth of variables that contribute to healthy societies. Click below to learn about one area of our work in 2012 – helping to move Universal Health Coverage to the top of the health development agenda – and see the breadth of work in the Advance Health focus area

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The Road to Universal Health Coverage

The road to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) hasn’t been easy, or even linear – and we haven't yet arrived at our destination: universal access to quality and affordable health services without putting individuals and families at risk of bankruptcy or financial ruin. As early as 2009, the Rockefeller Foundation has been a leading and vocal advocate for UHC. Since our support for the release of the 2010 World Health Report “Health Systems Financing: The Path to Universal Coverage,” more than 70 countries have approached the World Health Organization (WHO) to request technical assistance in moving forward on UHC. The Rockefeller Foundation also initiated a Joint Learning Network, which connects low- and middle-income countries to trade best practices and share technical approaches and ideas for implementing UHC.

In December 2012, the UN General Assembly passed a Resolution on UHC. Read on to learn about the 2012 milestones that led to this momentous achievement.  

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Prince Mahidol Conference

JANUARY, 2012

The theme of the Prince Mahidol Award Conference supported by the Rockefeller Foundation in Bangkok, Thailand, was “Moving towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC): Health Financing Matters.” At the close of the meeting, a ten-point declaration recognized UHC as fundamental to the right to health, and marked the commitment by more than 800 delegates to translate the rhetoric of UHC into better, more equitable health outcomes. 

read the opening remarks of the conference

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World Health Assembly

MAY, 2012

The Rockefeller Foundation and the World Health Organization held a groundbreaking planning meeting on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, which was attended by more than 30 participants from 12 countries including Bangladesh, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mauritania, Mexico, Philippines, Thailand, South Africa, and the United States to discuss cooperative efforts to pass a resolution at the UN General Assembly. The meeting showed that UHC was garnering increased attention in the global health sector.

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"Single Most Powerful Concept"

May 21, 2012

In her acceptance speech after being appointed for a second term as the Director General of WHO at the 65th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Dr. Margaret Chan called UHC “the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer…the umbrella concept that demands solutions to the biggest problems facing health systems and the anchor for WHO.” This call to action electrified the global health community.

Photo: Robert Scoble

READ dR. MARGARET CHAN'S FULL SPEECH

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Rio+20 United Nations Conference

June 22, 2012

At the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, member states recognized health as the “heart” of development, and emphasized UHC as a critical need to help 150 million people worldwide who suffer from severe financial hardship in the face of illness.

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Lancet Series

September, 2012

The Rockefeller Foundation provided the funding for a successful series of papers on UHC, released by the Lancet, the leading academic health journal, featuring voices and perspectives from across health and development. The series helped to elevate the scholarship of UHC and raise the dialogue to a new level.

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Global Symposium on Health Systems

October, 2012

Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin and Managing Director Jeanette Vega attended the second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Beijing, which brought together more than 1,800 policymakers, researchers and public health officials. At the conference, it was announced that more than 100 countries – both low and middle income – were taking steps to advance UHC around the world. Both Rodin and Vega championed equity and inclusion as key tenets of health systems.

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UN Resolution

December, 2012

The movement built among global and national actors led to the passage of the UN Resolution, which was endorsed by more than 90 countries and encouraged governments to make UHC a key global health objective. The resolution has positioned UHC as the umbrella health goal for the post-2015 development framework – a big step closer towards making access to affordable, quality health care services a reality for all.

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