90pc countries faced disruption to health services amid Covid-19

Updated 01 Sep 2020

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“Most countries reported that many routine and elective services have been suspended, while critical care — such as cancer screening and treatment and HIV therapy — has seen high-risk interruptions in low-income countries,” it said in a statement. — Reuters/File
“Most countries reported that many routine and elective services have been suspended, while critical care — such as cancer screening and treatment and HIV therapy — has seen high-risk interruptions in low-income countries,” it said in a statement. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that people in 90 per cent of the countries faced disruption to essential health services since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

In its survey ‘Rapid assessment of continuity of essential health services during the Covid-19 pandemic’, the WHO said that the low- and middle-income countries had reported the greatest difficulties.

“Most countries reported that many routine and elective services have been suspended, while critical care — such as cancer screening and treatment and HIV therapy — has seen high-risk interruptions in low-income countries,” it said in a statement.

The WHO said the survey was conducted in 159 countries (all WHO regions, except the Americas); 105 responses were received (66pc response rate) from senior ministry of health officials covering the period from March to June 2020.

WHO says low- and middle-income nations reported greatest difficulties

The purpose of the survey was to gain insights and perspectives on both the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on up to 25 essential health services in countries and how the states are adopting strategies to maintain essential services, it said.

“The survey shines a light on the cracks in our health systems, but it also serves to inform new strategies to improve healthcare provision during the pande-mic and beyond,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director General.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2020