Cost Of Inaction: COVID-19-Related Service Disruptions Could Cause 500,000 Extra Deaths From HIV

by GoNews Desk 2 years ago Views 1000

Cost Of Inaction: COVID-19-Related Service Disrupt
An estimated 500,000 more people would die from AIDS-related illnesses in sub-Saharan Africa, if disruptions in healthcare services and supplies due to the pandemic continue for six months, a modelling group convened by the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS said.

The group’s worst case scenario, a 6-month disruption of antiretroviral therapy, suggested that there could be 500,000 extra deaths from AIDS-related illnesses, including from tuberculosis, in sub-Saharan Africa over the next year, the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

In 2018, an estimated 470 000 people died of AIDS-related deaths in the region.

This could effectively set the clock back by more than a decade to 2008, when more than 950,000 AIDS deaths were observed in the region, Dr Tedros added.

He continued: "This is an avoidable worst-case scenario and not a prediction. This model acts as a wake-up call to identify ways to sustain all vital health services. 

"It highlights the importance of taking immediate steps to minimise interruptions in health services and supplies of antiretroviral drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Despite attention being focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, we must still ensure that global supplies of tests and treatments for both HIV and TB reach the countries and communities that need them most. We should save people from COVID and HIV and other life threatening diseases.

"Even relatively short-term interruptions to treatment pose a significant threat to a person’s health and potential to transmit HIV".

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