COVID-19 threatens plans to eliminate and control infectious diseases, PAHO Director says
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
August 11, 2020
Countries must balance COVID-19 response with maintaining essential services to manage and prevent infectious diseases.
Washington, D.C., Aug. 11, 2020 (PAHO)— The pandemic of COVID-19, which has killed over 390,000 people in the Americas, is threatening regional plans to eliminate and control infectious diseases including tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis and others, PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne said today.
With more than 10.5 million cases of COVID-19 in the Americas and 100,000 new cases being reported every day, “countries can’t delay the fight against COVID-19, but we must not let COVID-19 delay us in completing our unfinished agenda of eliminating and controlling infectious diseases from our region,” she told a press briefing.
Challenges in delivering TB treatments during the pandemic were reported by 80 percent of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, which could turn manageable cases of TB into active infections. Similarly, 30 percent of people living with HIV are avoiding seeking care and antiretroviral medications are in limited supply. Disruptions in hepatitis screenings, key for detection and treatment, were also reported by a third of the countries.