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Pandemic mismanagement

By Murray Hunter - posted Tuesday, 23 August 2022

We have long known that there were many collateral deaths from lockdowns due to people failing to diagnose cancers and other life-threatening diseases, depression and suicides. That's not to mention the bankruptcies and families who were unable to feed themselves.

In a World Health Organization (WHO) press release dated 15th July, together with UNICEF, warned that Covid-19 pandemic has caused the largest backslide in vaccinations in three decades. The report states;

The percentage of children who received three doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) – a marker for immunization coverage within and across countries – fell 5 percentage points between 2019 and 2021 to 81 per cent.

As a result, 25 million children missed out on one or more doses of DTP through routine immunization services in 2021 alone. This is 2 million more than those who missed out in 2020 and 6 million more than in 2019, highlighting the growing number of children at risk from devastating but preventable diseases. The decline was due to many factors including an increased number of children living in conflict and fragile settings where immunization access is often challenging, increased misinformation and COVID-19 related issues such as service and supply chain disruptions, resource diversion to response efforts, and containment measures that limited immunization service access and availability.

This is a red alert for child health.


UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said, "The consequences will be measured in lives, …While a pandemic hangover was expected last year as a result of COVID-19 disruptions and lockdowns, what we are seeing now is a continued decline. COVID-19 is not an excuse. We need immunization catch-ups for the missing millions or we will inevitably witness more outbreaks, more sick children and greater pressure on already strained health systems."

Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of the Vaccine Alliance said, "It's heart-breaking to see more children losing out on protection from preventable diseases for a second year in a row. The priority of the Alliance must be to help countries to maintain, restore and strengthen routine immunization alongside executing ambitious COVID-19 vaccination plans, not just through vaccines but also tailored structural support for the health systems that will administer them."

"Planning and tackling COVID-19 should also go hand-in-hand with vaccinating for killer diseases like measles, pneumonia and diarrhea. It's not a question of either/or, it's possible to do both," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

In the UK, another adverse result from lockdowns is that children are not developing immunity from diseases like hepatitis. Some children as a result have required a liver transplant.

Bureaucracy continues as public health management declines

In Thailand, an emergency decree declared in the name of controlling the Covid pandemic back in 2020 has not been lifted, with government intent to maintain emergency regulations. The purpose specific task government body, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) is looking to extend itself lifespan with the new fear of Monkeypox, where screening has been set up at international airports, even though data to data indicates transmission of the virus follows similar characteristics to STDs.


Covid is becoming an expensive disease for people

With extra restrictions specific for Covid-19, and the stigma that is still involved for those who come down with the virus in some communities, the costs to conform to regulations is now increasing. With some cheap medicines that some claim show efficacy in treating Covid-19 being banned and condemned by the main stream media, only very expensive treatments now remain.

Those who don't have health insurance are potentially liable for very expense medical bills. Pfizer's new anti-viral is not cheap. Covid-19 may leave us with the legacy of widening the inequality of health care around the world.

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About the Author

Murray Hunter is an associate professor at the University Malaysia Perlis. He blogs at Murray Hunter.

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