NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES – Pandemic response disrupts essential NCD services too

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Services for the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have been severely disrupted in countries worldwide since the Covid-19 pandemic began. A World Health Organization survey completed by 159 countries during a three-week period in May 2020 and released on 1 June revealed that in 150 of the countries, health workers had been partially or fully reassigned to support Covid-19 responses. Services for hypertension care had been disrupted in 84 countries, while 78 countries reported disruptions in treatment of diabetes and diabetes-related complications. Sixty-six countries saw similar disruptions in cancer treatment and 49 countries in cardiovascular emergency services. Rehabilitation services were also disrupted in 99 of the countries that responded to the survey, even though rehabilitation is often needed after the acute phase of Covid-19.

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