COVID-19 Disrupted Half of 25 Key Health Services Globally

  • Countries experienced disruptions in at least half the 25 kinds of health services due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the findings of a survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its five regions.
  • Immunisation-outreach services were the most hit (70 per cent), while non-communicable diseases (NCD) diagnosis and treatment was the second-most impacted (69 per cent). They were followed by family planning and contraception (68 per cent), treatment for mental health disorders and facility-based services (61 per cent) and cancer diagnosis and treatment (55 per cent).
  • The reasons for the disruption in these services were from both, demand and supply factors.
  • On the demand side, patients did not present themselves for outpatient care, with several holding lockdowns to be responsible for curbing access to such care.
  • Several respondents also said financial difficulties were responsible for inhibiting access to healthcare.
  • A number of supply side factors, including cancellation of elective care, workforce-related difficulties and unavailability of services affecting services as well.