Corona Pandemic

‘Disruption in health services led to 2.39 lakh child, maternal deaths in S Asia’

Diplomatic Correspondent

18 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

As a result of corona crisis, drastic cuts in the availability of essential public health services might have contributed to an estimated additional 228,000 child death and 11,000 additional maternal death in 2020 across South Asia, according to a new United Nations report published on Wednesday.

Clinics and other health facilities have been closed and many vital health and nutrition programmes halted as the region battles to contain COVID-19 cases, which numbered 11 million by the end of 2020.

The report, commissioned by UNICEF and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), cites examples of the more severe service disruptions.

They include an 80 per cent drop in the number of young children treated for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in Nepal and Bangladesh, and a sharp drop in childhood immunizations in Pakistan and India, reads the UN report.