WHO: Health Costs during the Pandemic have brought Half a Billion People to Extreme PovertyHealth | December 13, 2021, Monday // 09:35| views
More than half a billion people worldwide were brought to extreme poverty last year because they had to pay for health care themselves during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization and the World Bank said on Sunday.
The pandemic has disrupted global health services and caused the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, making it even harder for people to pay for health care, according to a joint statement from the two organizations.
"All governments must immediately resume and accelerate their efforts to ensure that every citizen has access to health services without fear of financial repercussions," said WHO Director-General Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
He called on governments to increase their focus on health systems and stay on the path to universal health coverage, which according to the WHO means everyone has access to the health services they need without financial difficulties.
Health is a major political issue in the United States, one of the few industrialized countries that does not have universal coverage for its citizens. Globally, the pandemic has worsened and immunization coverage has plummeted for the first time in ten years, with deaths from tuberculosis and malaria increasing.
"Within a limited fiscal space, governments will have to make difficult choices to protect and increase health budgets," said Juan Pablo Uribe, global director of health, nutrition and population at the World Bank.
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