Mothers, newborns, young children and adolescents are losing 20 per cent of their health and social services due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report from a panel senior global health experts.
The experts revealed that immunisation campaigns are being halted and health workers are being diverted from maternity to Covid-19 units.
“Covid-19 is making a bad situation worse,” said Joy Phumaphi, co-chair of the Panel and former WHO Assistant Director-General.
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“The new findings show how weak our health systems are at protecting mothers, newborns, young children and adolescents,” Phumaphi added.
The panel has compiled data from various surveys and studies and provided an overview of estimated impacts from Covid-19 pandemic on mothers, newborns, young children and adolescents since its start in January.
The early data found that women are experiencing a loss of various types of support and social safety nets and can’t access increased support, in contrast to men.
According to the experts, since 2000, maternal and children under 5 deaths have been cut by 40 per cent, because of focused leadership and investment, even in the poorest nations.
But due to Covid-19, the health care systems in both rich and poor nations are massively struggling and the services for mothers, newborns, young children and adolescents are crumbling.
“Especially worrisome decline in access to life-saving vaccines for children and maternal health services due to closures and movement restriction,” said Elizabeth Mason, co-chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Independent Accountability Panel (IAP) for Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent reviewing the impact of COVID-19 on these groups.
Besides the loss of services due to the pandemic, IAP has found that globally implementation is 20 per cent behind on the UN’s 2030 goals to reduce preventable deaths for mothers, newborns, young children and adolescents.
The IAP’s 2020 report, published this week, calls for leaders to fulfil their commitments and lays out the action needed to get back on track.
Commitments to universal health coverage, primary health care, International Health Regulations and sustainable development, were urgently needed before the pandemic.
According to global health experts, now with Covid-19, they are even more important. (IANS)