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90 % of countries’ health services continue to be disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic: WHO

World Health Organization said, over one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, about 90 percent of the countries surveyed still report disruptions to their essential health services.

A recent WHO survey has found that about 66 percent of countries continue to report health workforce-related reasons as the most common cause of service disruptions. In nearly one-third of countries supply chains are also still disrupted, affecting the availability of essential medicines, diagnostics and the personal protective equipment,PPE needed to safely and effectively provide care.

More than half of the countries surveyed reported service disruptions due to patients not seeking care, because of community mistrust and fears of becoming infected, while 43 percent cited financial challenges as a major cause of disruption.

This second round of a WHO pulse survey has marked no substantial global change since the first survey conducted in the last summer.

WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, it is encouraging to see that countries are beginning to build back their essential health services, but much remains to be done. The survey highlights the need to intensify efforts and take additional steps to strengthen services, he added.

 

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