As many as 6,000 children around the world could die every day from preventable causes over the next six months due to the impact of coronavirus on routine health services, the UN has warned.
Global disruption of essential maternal and child health interventions – such as family planning, birth and postnatal care, and vaccinations – could lead to an additional 1.2 million deaths of under fives in just six months, according to analysis by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, published in the Lancet Global Health Journal. Visits to healthcare centres are declining due to lockdowns, curfews and transport disruptions, and fear of infection, it says.
This projected figure threatens to reverse nearly a decade of progress on ending preventable child deaths, said the UN’s children’s agency, Unicef“Children’s lives are being upended across the globe – their support systems ripped away, their borders closed, their educations lost, their food supply cut off. Even in the UK, children face the threat of a measles outbreak and school closures are putting vulnerable children at increased risk.” said Unicef UK’s executive director Sacha Deshmukh.