Pulse survey on continuity of essential health services during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • 27/08/2020
  • WHO

Disruptions of essential health services were reported by nearly all countries, and more so in lower-income than higher-income countries finds this first indicative survey on the impact of COVID-19 on health systems by the WHO 

WHO conducted a key informant survey among ministry of health officials in five WHO regions between May and July 2020 to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on up to 25 essential health services in countries. Questionnaires were sent to 159 countries and 105 responses were received (66% response rate). 80%of the 105 responding countries had established packages of essential health services prior to the pandemic and 66% of these countries had already identified a core set of services to be maintained during the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, disruptions of essential health services were reported by nearly all countries, and more so in lower-income than higher-income countries. The great majority of service disruptions were partial, which was defined as a change of 5–50% in service provision or use. Severe/complete disruptions were defined as a change of more than 50% in service provision or use.