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Monopoly: Women, babies, World Bank warn that COVID-19 risks disrupting healthcare services

LONDON — The COVID-19 epidemic puts millions of women and children in poor countries at risk as it disrupts the medical services they depend on, from neonatal and obstetric care to vaccination and birth control. It is exposed.

Monique Freder, secretary-general of the bank’s Global Finance Facility (GFF), told Reuters in an interview that officials said the number of unvaccinated children, women giving birth without medical help, and antibiotics. I was very worried about the interruption of the supply of life-saving medicines such as substances.

“I’m very concerned about what’s happening, especially in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Vledder, one of the first attempts to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the health of women and children. I mentioned when I announced the results of the GFF survey.

“Much of the countries we work in are, of course, already in a very difficult situation when it comes to providing medical services, which makes things even worse.”

Starting in late March, the GFF conducted monthly surveys of local staff in 36 countries to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on basic health services for women, children and adolescents.

The GFF shared the findings with Reuters and said 87% of the reporting countries had fears of blockades designed to control pandemics, infections or the spread of coronaviruses leading to confusion among health workers.

More than three-quarters of the countries also reported disruptions in the supply of major medications for mothers and babies, including antibiotics to treat infections and oxytocin, a drug to prevent excessive postpartum bleeding. ..

The number of GFF countries reporting service interruptions almost doubled from 10 in April to 19 in June, and the number of people seeking essential health services surged from 5 in April to 22 in June. Did.

The GFF, for example, found in Liberia that concerns about COVID-19 have prevented parents from taking their children to the clinic. In Ghana, some pregnant and lactating mothers chose to postpone prenatal services and routine immunizations for fear of developing a pandemic disease.

“Children’s vaccination rates are declining. Fewer women are accessing services for prenatal or postnatal care. We are seeing fewer babies born in health care facilities. , Outpatient Services-For the treatment of diarrhea, malaria, fever, pneumonia, etc.,” Vledder said.

Vledder added that rapidly reducing access to reproductive health supplies is also a key concern. The GFF estimates that if conditions do not improve, as many as 26 million women may lose access to contraception in 36 countries, leading to approximately 8 million unintended pregnancies.

(Report by Kate Kelland, edited by Josephine Mason and Alex Richardson)

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