News Article
August 5, 2019

The Regional Consultation on Universal Health, Shillong

A Consultation on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) was held on July 16-17, 2019 in Shillong. The event was organised by the Northeast Network (NEN), Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) and Indian Institute of Public Health—Shillong, (a part of the Public Health Foundation of India-PHFI), with technical support from the World Health Organisation (WHO) country office, India.

Public health experts at the Shillong Consultation provided an understanding of the concepts and goals of UHC. They highlighted international and regional experience on how UHC was being implemented and the lessons to be drawn. Official data was used to explain key health issues affecting the Northeast (NE) region. There was a sharing of experiences and perceptions by civil society groups from within the NE about their realities. Also presented were several examples from the region that demonstrated pioneering health care and delivery models that the rest of India could learn rom.
The Consultation also focused on connecting the dots to understand how social factors determined good health. These dots linked nutrition to agriculture policy and public education on the role of food in ensuring health. It stressed public health infrastructure that supported disease cure and prevention interventions. It highlighted the need for livelihood that enabled purchasing power and access to health.   
Extending strong support to the Government of India’s policy commitment on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), Northeast civil society groups said it was an important step forward for the region. The core concept of UHC – ensuring that no one was left behind – was of special relevance in this region composed of myriad tribes, races and linguistic groups.