The Declaration of Alma-Ata in 1978 was the first international declaration advocating primary health care as the main strategy for achieving WHO’s goal of “health for all”.
While there have been huge improvements in areas such as childhood immunization coverage and access to safe water and sanitation, there have been setbacks to providing equitable access to essential health care worldwide. Health system constraints including financial barriers and health worker shortages, combined with challenges such as the HIV epidemic, have hampered progress towards achieving health for all.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, was the result of the experience of the Second World War. With the end of that war, and the creation of the United Nations, the international community vowed never again to allow atrocities like those of that conflict happen again. World leaders decided to complement the UN Charter with a road map to guarantee the rights of every individual everywhere. The document they considered, and which would later become the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was taken up at the first session of the General Assembly in 1946.