2020-12-12 GENERAL HOUSE

December 12: International Universal Health Coverage Day

One of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDA) talks about working for the health of all human beings, in all countries of the world. In 2017, the United Nations approved the establishment of the International Day of Universal Health Coverage as a basic element in the development of peoples. It is a day to consolidate the work carried out over the years in the struggle for access to quality health.

We, Marists of Champagnat, also want to become more aware of this issue. It could be argued that we do not work in health care, and that therefore this topic is not really our concern. Yet, as Marists we are working so that all people have access to their rights, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability. Working for rights includes working for access to quality health care. Health, like education, is a basic human need.

When we work for integral human development and for the wealth and well-being of all to be increased, health also features. Working for the development of our different societies means advocating for quality education and health systems that are accessible to all. We are living in a time when, at the global level, we have become particularly aware of the need to protect public health. Covid-19 has made us discover our vulnerability and the importance of having quality health systems.

Many of our schools remain closed due to the health crisis we are experiencing. Many others are open but have had to develop special health protocols to look after the health of the children and staff. Let us help each other become aware of public health as a basic good, of how it should be both universal and accessible, with reliable health centres and available medicines.

In his encyclical Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis makes several references to the importance of caring for health and strengthening health systems. As societies, we cannot allow quality health care to be the privilege of only the few. The Pope reminds us how this time of pandemic has opened our eyes to the importance of having a quality health system, and the importance of having well-prepared health professionals.

Let us take advantage of these International Days proposed by the United Nations to grow in awareness and responsible action. Let us help our learners/students become more aware of the needs of our world. We, Marists of Champagnat, can also do our bit to change the world, so that basic rights are not violated, so that countries and governments enact laws that promote the good of all their citizens. Let us be “a prophetic reminder of the dignity and fundamental equality of all God’s people”.

Br. Ángel Diego – Director of the Secretariat of Solidarity


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