The coronavirus pandemic which has negatively impacted on global affairs has seen most of the gains in medical care which were achieved over the past decades under the threat of being wiped out within a short period of time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted ordinary health services in more than 90% of the countries.
The disclosure was part of a report in the Survey which was conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and released on Monday, August 31, 2020.
The UN health agency had on many occasions warned about other life-saving programmes being impacted by the pandemic and has sent advice to countries on how to mitigate against it. However, the survey yielded the first WHO data so far on the scale of disruptions.
The report from the WHO says, ‘’The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on essential health services is a source of great concern. Major health gains achieved over the past two decades can be wiped out in a short period of time.’’
The survey includes responses from over 100 countries between May and July. The most affected services were routine immunizations (70%), family planning (68%) and cancer diagnosis and treatment (55%), while emergency services were disturbed in almost a quarter of responding countries.
The number of coronavirus cases has surpassed 25.2 million with about 850,000 deaths according to the latest report.
Researchers are of the opinion that non-COVID-19 deaths have also increased in some places partly due to disruption in health services, although these may be harder to calculate.
The WHO survey said, ‘’It was reasonable to anticipate that even a modest disruption in essential health services could lead to an increase in morbidity and mortality from causes other than COVID-19 in the short to medium and long-term.”
Going further, the WHO also warned that the disruptions could be felt even after the pandemic ends as countries may find that their resources have been overwhelmed.