90 percent of countries experience disruption to health services – WHO survey

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), speaks at a press conference after the WHO emergency committee's meeting on the novel coronavirus in China at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Jan. 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Qu)
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO)

Latest survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) among over 100 countries showed that 90 percent of the countries have experienced disruption to their health services.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a virtual press conference that according to the survey, low- and middle-income countries have been the most affected.

“The survey shows that up to 70 percent of services have been disrupted for essential services including routine immunization, diagnosis and treatment for non-communicable diseases, family planning and contraception, treatment for mental health disorders and cancer diagnosis and treatment,” Tedros said.

“However, only 14 percent of countries reported removing user fees, which WHO recommends to offset potential financial difficulties for patients,” he added.

Tedros said that the WHO will continue to work with countries to provide tools to maintain essential services.

“For example, WHO is developing a Health Services Learning Hub, a web-based platform that will allow countries to share experiences and learn from each other,” he said.

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