Universal Health Coverage Day is marked every year on December 12 to raise awareness about the global commitment to establish UHC by 2030 so that everyone, everywhere, can enjoy quality health services without financial hardship. This year’s UHC theme “Build the world we want: A healthy future for all” underlines that commitment. The Advance UHC Multi-Donor Trust Fund has been supporting East Asia and Pacific countries to invest in health and move towards full universal health coverage; a goal shared across the region.
Changing habits can be hard, but it becomes easier when the motivation is a healthy family. In Samoa, the government, with support from the World Bank, is using taxation to encourage healthier lifestyle choices for its people. For example, excise taxes have been added to products like cigarettes, sugary drinks, salty snacks, and selected fatty meats. The Government has also been considering reductions in import duties on healthy options like vegetables, fresh chicken, and bottled water to make them more widely affordable.