“Good health is a state of physical and mental well-being free from disease and suffering that enables people to carry out their fundamental rights and activities for as long as possible in the environment in which they have been placed by chance or choice.

The World Health Organization (WHO) aims to improve the health of all people in the world. Mandated by the United Nations, it fights infectious diseases (viruses such as influenza, HIV, COVID-19,…) and non-communicable diseases (cancer, heart disease,…). WHO helps mothers and children to survive and thrive in the best possible way. Moreover, it ensures our daily health, i.e. the sanitary safety of the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink as well as the medicines and vaccines we need.

However, not all countries are on the same level when it comes to universal health coverage (UHC). More than 100 million people each year face financial hardship and extreme poverty as a result of high health care costs. Primary health care covers 80-90% of people’s health needs over their lifetime. This is huge, which is why, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UN member states want to achieve UHC by 2030. This includes health promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care. Progress is focused on 2 aspects; on the one hand, the population able to access quality health services and on the other hand, the proportion of the population spending a large share of the family income. Measuring the equity of coverage of all countries is equally important in order to compare internationally and over time. WHO has identified 4 categories, each with 4 services.

For example, the most developed countries have an average of 55 hospital beds, more than 30 doctors and 81 nurses per 10,000 people, compared to 7 hospital beds, 2.5 doctors and 6 nurses in the least developed countries.

Ensuring this UHC would reduce the risk of falling into poverty and it would allow children to learn in the best family circumstances.

The global pandemic of COVID-19 knocking on our door since early 2020 is not only a health emergency, but rather a systemic crisis of human development.

That’s why B2help, supported by Semlex for Education, has taken action in Togo and Benin in favor of education. The school systems have been so weakened during this crisis (closure of schools, distance learning), which has resulted in growing inequalities in education. In order to reduce these inequalities, B2help is providing health equipment to these schools in order to support them as best as possible in their crisis management.

This great citizen initiative is making a difference and, at its own scale, is reducing vulnerabilities and strengthening crisis management capacities. If you know of any other projects focusing on education, don’t hesitate.

Author: Emilie de Gerlache for Semlex for Education

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