World Health Day 2019

April 2019

What’s it all about?

World Health Day is a chance to celebrate health and remind world leaders that everyone should be able to access the health care they need, when and where they need it.

Advocacy events will be held around the world to
fuel the momentum of the #HealthForAll movement and to highlight our goal of achieving a fairer, healthier world – in which no one is left

The focus will be on equity and solidarity – on raising the bar for health for everyone, everywhere by addressing gaps in services, and leaving no one behind.


The tagline for World Health Day is: Health for all – everyone, everywhere

Why universal health coverage and primary health care?

Universal health coverage means that all people have access to the quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. We believe this is possible and it starts with strong primary health care. Primary health care is a whole-of-society approach to health and wellbeing centred on the needs and preferences of individuals, families and communities.


To make health for all a reality, governments need to invest in quality, accessible primary health care. Health workers need to care and advocate for patients and educate them on how to get and stay healthy. Individuals and communities need to be
empowered to take care of their own health. Health is a human right. Together, we can make health for all a

  • To improve understanding of universal health coverage and the importance of primary health care as its foundation.

  • To spur action from individuals, policy-makers and health-care workers to make universal health carea reality for everyone.

Key messages

We know universal health coverage is possible, let’s
make it happen!


Health is a human right; it’s time for health for all.

Universal health coverage means that all people have access to the quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.


At least half of the people in the world do not receive the health services they need.

About 100 million people are pushed into extreme
poverty each year because of out-of-pocket spending on health.


But who are these people and how can we help them? To get a better picture of who is missing out, we need data that is broken down by gender, age, income, location, education and other factors that affect access to health services.

Health is a human right; everyone should have the
information and services they need to take care of their own health and the health of their families.


Quality, accessible primary health care is the
foundation for universal health coverage.

Unsafe and low-quality health care ruins lives and
costs the world trillions of dollars every year, we must do more to improve the quality and safety of health services globally.

Primary health care should be the first level of contact with the health system, where individuals, families and communities receive most of their health care—from promotion and prevention to treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care—as close as possible to where they live and work.

At its heart, primary health care is about caring for
people and helping them improve their health or
maintain their well-being, rather than just treating a single disease or condition.

Primary health care covers the majority of your
health needs throughout your life including services such as screening for health problems, vaccines, information on how to prevent disease, family planning, treatment for long and short-term conditions, coordination with other levels of care, and rehabilitation.


A health system with strong primary health care delivers better health outcomes, is
cost-efficient and improves quality of care.

Primary health care is a cost effective and equitable way of delivering health services and helping countries make progress towards universal health coverage.

Health workers have a crucial role to play educating patients on how to take care of their health, coordinating care and advocating for their patients’ needs to health facility managers and policy-makers.

Primary health-care workers have a continuing and trusted relationship with their patients and know their health history; knowing the full picture helps improve their care and saves money.

Primary health-care workers know the raditions, cultures and practices of their communities, making them indispensable during an outbreak or emergency.

To make health for all a reality, we need: individuals and communities who have access to high quality health services so that they take care of their own health and the health of their families; skilled health workers providing quality, people-centred care; and policy-makers committed to investing in primary health care.

Visit the World Health Day webpage

Social media squares, posters, infographics, GIFs and videos are available to help you celebrate World Health Day and communicate about universal health coverage and primary health care. Please keep checking back, as more language versions will be added to the multilingual pages of the site (click on the buttons on the top right) in the days leading up to World Health Day on 7 April.

Make sure you check out and share our videos! You can find all of our universal health coverage and primary health care videos on our UHC

YouTube playlist here.

For more detailed information about the topics of universal health coverage and primary health care, you can read their fact sheets:

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