One of WHO's 3 strategic goals is to ensure that an additional 1 billion people in the world are protected by universal health coverage (UHC) by 2023 – able to access the services they need to keep healthy, without falling into poverty as a result.
A key step in making this a reality is for countries to be able to work out what services their people need and how to provide them.
WHO's new UHC Compendium, the product of a wide-ranging multi-year collaboration across WHO programmes and partners, is designed to help them do just this.
Basically a toolbox for countries to build packages of essential services, the Compendium offers national health authorities and decision-makers a database of over 3500 health actions across all health areas from which they can choose when planning and budgeting their health programmes.
The Compendium brings together evidence, guidance, resource inputs and cost analysis into one go-to platform. In addition, it gives tips and options for choosing among the most cost-effective actions to develop a comprehensive package suited to national context.
The database provides a global reference point for how to organize and present information on health interventions for UHC across the full life course and for all diseases, and includes a diverse set of actions spanning prevention, rehabilitation, and treatment, as well as inter-sectoral interventions.
Version 1.0 of the Compendium focuses on clinical health services that can be grouped dynamically into categories such as health programmes, life-course stage, and sustainable development goals.
For example, the Expanded Program for Immunization (EPI) can filter health actions related to immunization to see the relevant health actions in a table.
So country users can refer to the UHC Compendium as a one-stop shop to inform decisions around which services to consider for provision within their system. In forthcoming versions, users will be able to view resource needs, costs and other information to guide their prioritization process.