Other Diseases May Surge in Latin America as Prevention and Treatment Falter
The coronavirus pandemic is paving the way for other preventable diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean, interfering with routine vaccinations and medical treatment in one of the hardest-hit regions in the world, officials warned on Wednesday. the World Health Organization.
There has been a sharp decline in measles vaccinations across the region, and a recent survey found that the pandemic has slowed efforts to diagnose and treat viral B and C infections across Latin America and the Caribbean.
“More than 300,000 children, mainly in Brazil and Mexico, missed their routine immunizations last year, leaving them vulnerable to deadly but preventable infections,” said Dr Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Organization for Health. health, part of WHO
“If we don’t reverse these trends, we risk an avalanche of worsening health problems in the Americas,” she added. “Soon, Covid-19 will not be the only health crisis requiring the attention of countries.”
Although the total number of cases has declined in the region since the spring, Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc, and several Latin American countries, including Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador and Paraguay are “Among the countries reporting the highest weekly death rates in the world. “Dr Etienne said at a weekly briefing. She warned that” too many places have relaxed the public health and safety measures that have proven to be so effective against this virus. “
Officials have expressed particular concern over Cuba, which is reporting its highest rates of new cases and death since the start of the pandemic. Hot spots have also been detected in parts of Argentina, Colombia and Mexico, and new cases have increased sharply in the United States.
Although vaccines have been plentiful in the United States, Canada, Chile, Uruguay, and a few other countries in the Americas, they have been scarce elsewhere. Only a sixth of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean has been fully immunized.
One of the most extreme examples is Haiti, which was only able to start its vaccination campaign recently after a vaccine donation from the United States.
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