Today is International Universal Health Coverage Day – a call to action for world leaders to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible for all. A mission that we at Nostics share.
Universal Health Coverage: Towards a Healthy Future For all
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) aims to improve overall population health by giving everyone everywhere access to safe and effective treatment and high quality medicines without experiencing financial hardship. Its implementation will support marginalized and vulnerable communities and protect against global health crises. United Nations Members have committed to making UHC a reality by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Leveraging accessible healthcare to fight antimicrobial resistance
UHC is an important tool in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Indiscriminate use of antibiotics is the main driving force behind AMR and is often caused by self-medication or wrong prescription. This problem is exacerbated in lower-and-middle-income countries, where doctor visits are often “not worth the hassle”. Often, the health service coverage is poor but expensive, and distrust in the healthcare system is high. By making healthcare accessible, through affordable and fast diagnostics and by spreading awareness on antibiotics use for example, we can slow the rise of AMR everywhere. Additionally, access to quality antimicrobials decreases the risk of bacteria surviving the dose and developing resistance.
The other side: Rise of AMR is a hurdle to Health For All
If AMR is not curbed, it will lead to rising infection rates and harder to treat infections that require more expensive treatment or longer hospitalization times because of non-effective antimicrobials. The resulting rise in treatment costs will present a significant hurdle to UHC – and so efforts against AMR and towards UHC should go hand in hand. As Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General puts it:
“Antimicrobial resistance undermines modern medicine and puts millions of lives at risk. To truly understand the extent of the global threat and mount an effective public health response to AMR, we must scale up microbiology testing and provide quality-assured data across all countries, not just wealthier ones.”Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General
What can we do?
With Nostics’ novel platform, we aim to provide fast, affordable and data-driven diagnostics to reduce the unnecessary use and mis-use of antibiotics. By bringing proper access to diagnostics and quality data to every corner of the world, we want to bring the world one step closer to Health For All.