World’s Most Vulnerable Still At Serious Risk Of COVID-19 Death
Despite many parts of the world moving on from the worst impacts of COVID-19, World Vision is warning that we will see a significant loss of life in fragile countries if the international community does not respond urgently.
There have recently been dangerous increases in the number of cases in many countries. Myanmar’s massive spike in COVID-19 cases highlights the potential impact that the virus can have on conflict-affected countries where the Delta variant has yet to spread.
One day last week Indonesia recorded 1,383 deaths. Myanmar reported 286 deaths in one day last week – a new high.1 The UN is warning of limited access to hospital beds and oxygen cylinders, and of the need to urgently scale up critical health services and vaccination efforts.
“Myanmar’s struggle to contain the virus is a lesson to us all that we are by no means through this crisis and many nations – but especially those that are facing conflicts or extremely fragile – may yet be deeply affected by the pandemic,” says World Vision Myanmar National Director, Grenville Hopkinson.
The situation has also been worsening in Africa, which is experiencing its third - and worst - wave of COVID-19. So far only 1.4% of the population of Africa has had two vaccinations.
“COVID-19 has shone a light upon the clear divide between the world’s rich and poor. Inequitable vaccination programmes not only leave the disease unchecked, risking the emergence of new and more deadly variants but also leave behind countries and economies to be decimated by waves of COVID-19 infection. The disproportionate burden of these waves is simply too much for poorer and more vulnerable nations, with already weak healthcare systems.The international community must prioritise vaccination for human beings in all countries. This pandemic will not end until all are protected,” said Mr Hopkinson.
World Vision's global COVID-19 Responsehas alreadyreached more than 62 million people with efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 and reduce its impact on vulnerable children and families. The international aid agency is now working to mobilise its influential grassroots networks of faith leaders, community health workers, and government partners globally to support the roll out of vaccinesand help communities hold duty bearers accountable for ensuring their fair allocation, while continuing to support the scale up of preventative measures, strengthening health systems and workers, and supporting children affected by COVID-19 directly and indirectly.
Throughout their response, World Vision Myanmar’s programming has prioritised basic needs exacerbated by the recent political crisis along with the activities of COVID-19 awareness and prevention in the communities. In response to this spike, they will strengthen community-based care and provide targeted support to children and families who are isolating or directly affected by the disease.