PAHO Alerts on Devastating Effect of Covid-19 in the Americas

Washington: The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO in English) warned that Covid-19 today has a devastating effect on health care in the region, in reference to the appearance of measles outbreaks in Brazil and diphtheria in Haiti and Venezuela, Prensa Latina publishes.

Such situation has been generated by the suspension of vaccination campaigns, problems for the care of pregnant women and non-communicable ailments, such as hypertension and diabetes, as well as the shortage of medicines to treat HIV and tuberculosis, given the diversion of attention and resources towards the pandemic.

The director of PAHO, Carissa Etienne, specified that this impact can last for months or even years, noting that currently 11 countries in the Americas have less than three months of supply of antiretrovirals for HIV.

She also announced that in other nations the drugs for tuberculosis will be scarce in the next quarter, while in less time they will not have the reagents to diagnose that disease.

A PAHO survey of 27 countries showed that half of primary care programs to control diabetes and hypertension stopped, while some countries reduced medical visits to pregnant women by 40 percent.

Etienne noted that a quarter of nations suspended vaccination campaigns, jeopardizing the region’s achievements in eliminating infections such as polio and smallpox.

Such a situation means that it is necessary to redesign and invest in primary health care, she said.

Now the epicenter of the pandemic is located in the Americas with the United States as the most affected country in the world, accounting for more than 4.7 million infections and more than 156,000 deaths in just five months.

The situation is milder in Canada, which has accumulated around 120,000 cases and nearly 9,000 deaths.

The Covid-19 in Latin America registers more than five million cases and over 200 thousand deaths, more than half of the infections of the American continent, which has led to the World Health Organization (WHO) to position it as the new global epicenter of the pandemic.

Por Redacción digital

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