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Lebanon’s disaster exposes children to fatal viruses

BEIRUT: Kid vaccination charges in Lebanon have dropped by way of greater than 30 p.c, compounding a well being disaster marked by way of drug shortages and an exodus of skilled pros, the United International locations stated Wednesday. “The vital drop in vaccination charges has left youngsters at risk of probably fatal illnesses reminiscent of measles, diphtheria and pneumonia,” the UN youngsters’s company UNICEF stated in a brand new record titled “A worsening well being disaster for kids”.

“Regimen vaccination of youngsters has dropped by way of 31 in step with cent when charges already have been worryingly low, growing a big pool of unprotected youngsters at risk of illness and its have an effect on.” Since 2019, Lebanon has been grappling with an unheard of monetary disaster that the International Financial institution says is of a scale in most cases related to wars. The foreign money has misplaced greater than 90 p.c of its worth and greater than 80 p.c of the inhabitants now lives beneath the poverty line.

“Many households can’t even manage to pay for the price of transportation to take their youngsters to a well being care centre,” UNICEF consultant Ettie Higgins stated in a commentary. Between April and October 2021, the collection of youngsters who may now not get admission to well being care rose from 28 in step with cent to 34 in step with cent, in keeping with the UNICEF record. With the federal government too deficient to manage to pay for imports of fundamental commodities reminiscent of medications, many are suffering to supply lifesaving medication, together with the ones used to regard continual sicknesses.

In keeping with the UNICEF record, greater than 50 in step with cent of households have been not able to procure the medications they wanted and a minimum of 58 in step with cent of hospitals reported drug shortages. Making issues worse, the monetary crash has sparked an exodus of healthcare pros. In keeping with UNICEF, 40 p.c of docs and 30 p.c of midwives have left the rustic. – AFP

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