“It is welcome news that Health systems in most countries are starting to restore essential health services For the millions of people who missed him during the pandemic, said Dr. Rudy Eggers, Director of Integrated Health Services at the World Health Organization.WHO,
“But, we need to make sure that all countries continue to close this gap in health services to recover, and Apply lessons learned to build more prepared and resilient health systems For the future”.
Recovery, Resilience Investment
By early 2023, countries reported to experience less disturbance in the delivery of routine health services, but highlights need to invest in recovery And strong flexibility For the Future, United Nations Health Agency Said In its newly published interim report “Round 4 of the Global Pulse Survey on Continuity of Essential Health Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic: November 2022-January 2023,
Of the 139 countries that responded to the survey, WHO said nearly a quarter had continued disruptions in services. In the 84 countries where trend analysis is possible, the percentage of disrupted services declined on average from 56 percent in July to September 2020 to 23 percent in November 2022 to January 2023.
respondents also expressed WHO’s support is needed to address remaining challenges In COVID-19 context and beyond. It is often related to strengthening the health workforce, building monitoring capabilities of health services, and designing primary health care.
Toward pre-pandemic standards
By the end of 2022, most countries reported Partial indication of service recovery, This included services for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health; nutrition; vaccination; and communicable diseases (including malaria, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections).
In the new survey, some countries reported intentionally reducing access to all service delivery platforms and essential public health functions after the 2020 to 2021 period. it displays a Important steps to return to pre-pandemic levels of service delivery and wider system functioning, the WHO said.
In addition, the number of countries reporting disruptions to their national supply chain systems within the past year decreased from nearly a half (29 out of 59 responding countries) to almost a quarter (18 out of 66 responding countries) .
Dealing with backlog, service disruption
Despite signs of recovery, service interruption persists WHO said that in countries across all regions and income levels, and in most service delivery settings and tracer service areas.
demand and supply factors bucking the trendFrom low levels of healthcare-seeking in communities, to limited availability of labor and related resources such as open clinics or available stocks of medicines and products, creating persistent disruptions.
countries are also dealing increasing service backlog – often in services for screening, diagnosis and treatment of non-communicable diseases – which can have negative consequences as people are denied access to timely care.
Progress in Integrating COVID-19 Services
The WHO said it is important to get essential healthcare delivery right. obstructions For services such as health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care May have more adverse health effects than pandemicparticularly among vulnerable populations, the health agency said.
In another important step towards system recovery and transition, WHO reported that most countries have made progress in integrating COVID-19 services into regular healthcare delivery. About this 80 to 90 percent of countries have fully integrated COVID-19 vaccinationdiagnostic and case management services as well as services for post-COVID-19 conditions such as ‘long COVID’, in regular service delivery,
applying lessons learned
Still, 80 percent of the 83 countries that responded reported at least one barrier to expanding access to essential COVID-19 equipment, from diagnostics to therapeutics to personal protective equipment. Other common barriers are health workforce issues and lack of funds.
At the same time, most countries have begun to implement lessons learned during the pandemic, including the institutionalization of many Innovative Service Disruption Mitigation Strategies In regular service delivery.
it is included telemedicine deployment approach, promotion of home based care or self-care interventions, approaches to health worker availability, capacity and strengthening support mechanisms, Innovation in the procurement and distribution of medicines and suppliesMore regular community communication, and partnerships with private sector providers.
Similarly, three quarters of countries reported additional allocation Towards long-term system reform, resilience and preparedness.
In the fourth round of WHO’s Global Pulse survey, 222 countries, regions and territories were invited to respond to a standardized web-based survey between November 2022 and January 2023.
The survey followed the previous 2020 and 2021 editions of WHO: round 1 (May-September 2020); Second Round (January-March 2021); And round 3 (November-December 2021) which showed the extent to which the pandemic is affecting the continuity of essential health services and how countries are taking action.
Learn more about the United Nations’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic Here,