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Anti-corruption, transparency and accountability measures are often missing from efforts to promote universal health coverage. Yet, if unchecked, corruption represents a significant drain on domestic health resource and a major barrier to achieving universal health coverage and the sustainable development goals. The World Health Organization is promoting a coordinated public health approach to anti-corruption, transparency and accountability, working with global partners to create new internal control and assurance models, increase monitoring and evaluation; develop capacity for multiple stakeholders to address corruption; and strengthen normative guidance to integrate anti-corruption, transparency and accountability into WHO’s work on health systems strengthening. The articles in this special issue explore evidence on the impact of corruption on health, frameworks for interventions, human rights approaches to control corruption, corruption in human resources, tools for addressing pharmaceutical corruption, and digital solutions to improve transparency and accountability. New approaches to corruption and fraud risk assessment are also discussed. Moving forward, this issue represents a call for action to combat health system corruption through targeted research, informed strategies and tactics, and effective cross-sectoral interventions. This will allow all countries to seize the pledge of leaving no one behind in addressing inequalities and achieving health for all.