Maintaining essential health services during COVID-19 in low resource, non-U.S. settings
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Maintaining essential health services during COVID-19 in low resource, non-U.S. settings

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    Updated Nov. 20, 2020

    Globally, health systems have been challenged by the overwhelming demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources and staff are being diverted to test and provide treatment for people with presumed or diagnosed COVID-19, and supplies are limited. Some healthcare services are being compromised in order to meet the demands of caring for COVID-19 patients, and many people fear accessing healthcare facilities due to fear of acquiring the virus. These fears may be worsened by misinformation.1 During the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014–2015, increased morbidity and mortality in other diseases (e.g., measles, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and TB) were seen due to reduction in access to and utilization of healthcare services, and deaths from these diseases outnumbered deaths from Ebola.2 It is important to ensure continuity of essential health services in order to prevent illness and death from non-COVID-19 illnesses. This will likely require adaptations to service delivery models and settings.3,4 In addition, infection prevention and control measures to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 among patients and healthcare workers (HCW) should be integrated into all healthcare settings.5

    The purpose of this document is to provide ministries of health, public health authorities, and implementing partners with a framework for implementing strategies to reduce preventable illness and death during the COVID-19 pandemic in persons with non-COVID-19 illness and injury, particularly in low-resource settings.

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