Washington, Aug 5 - The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned that Covid-19 is having 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.
This situation is a result of the suspension of vaccination campaigns, problems for the care of pregnant women and non-communicable diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, as well as a shortage of medicine to treat HIV and tuberculosis, given the diversion of attention and resources towards the pandemic.
The director of PAHO, Carissa Etienne, specified that the impact may last for months or even years, noting that currently 11 countries on the Latin American continent have less than three months of supply of antiretrovirals for HIV.
She also announced that in other countries tuberculosis drugs will be scarce in the next three months, while they will lack the reagents to diagnose the disease in less time.
A PAHO survey in 27 countries showed that half of primary care programs to control diabetes and hypertension were stopped, while some countries reduced medical visits to pregnant women by 40 percent.
Etienne noted that a quarter of the countries suspended vaccination campaigns, jeopardizing the region's achievements in eliminating infections such as polio and smallpox.
This situation means that primary health care must be redesigned and invested in, she said. (Prensa Latina)