More than a year after the onset of the Covid 19 epidemic, significant disruptions to essential health services persist in 90% of countries, according to a study released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday.
Within countries, however, the magnitude and extent of the disorder have generally declined. By 2020, countries reported that, on average, half of essential health services were affected. However, in the first three months of 2021, they reported improvement, and now a third of services are affected.
Countries are working to alleviate the crisis. Many have now stepped up their communication efforts to inform the public about changes in service delivery and to provide advice on how to obtain safe care. They try to identify the patients’ most urgent needs and respond better.
More than half the countries discussed hiring additional staff to strengthen health workers; Refer patients to other health facilities; It also shifted to alternative care methods such as providing home care services, prescribing treatments for several months and increasing the use of telemedicine. In addition, the WHO and its partners have helped countries adapt their processes so that they can better respond to challenges for their health systems; Strengthening primary health care and improving global health care.
Countries need to make even more important decisions when responding to Covid 19, which could negatively affect access to care for other health issues. Covid-19 continues to re-employ staff to provide care and temporarily close health facilities and services.
Although they may have hired new employees, 66% of countries continue to cite health worker-related causes as the most common cause of service disruptions. Distribution chains are still disrupted in about a third of the countries, affecting the availability of essential medicines, diagnostics and personal protective equipment.
According to the World Health Organization, communication efforts need to be stepped up: more than half of patients report service disruptions due to lack of patient care and social distrust and fear of contracting the disease.
At the same time, 43% of countries cite financial challenges as the main reason for disruptions in the use of services.
As a result, millions of people still do not have access to vital health care. In terms of services, the biggest impact reported by almost half the countries is the provision of daily primary care to prevent and manage some of the most common health problems. Long-term care, rehabilitation and end-of-life immunotherapy for chronic diseases are even more severely affected – severely affecting the elderly and those with disabilities.