Covid-19 has extreme impact on children’s healthcare

The global Covid-19 pandemic has had an extreme impact on children’s lives in ways that will be felt for years to come, according to health experts – Health-e News (8 September 2021).

According to the Children and Covid advocacy brief series, developed by the Children’s Institute, primary

healthcare services for children under five dropped by almost 25%, leading to a decrease in the screening and treatment of acute malnutrition, HIV and tuberculosis (TB).

  • “When the pandemic emerged, children were considered to be at a lower risk of infection and developing complications than adults, prompting the country to take an adult-centred approach to Covid-19,” said Eastern Cape specialist paediatrician, Dr Nomlind Makubalo .
  • According to Professor Neil McKerrow, head of paediatric and child health at KwaZulu-Natal department of health, the pandemic resulted in the closure or reduction of routine child health services during the first wave to release staff for Covid-19 tracing activities; a decline in preventative programmes; and an increase in neonatal deaths due to the impact on capacity to offer respiratory support to newborns.
  • In Gauteng there was a decline in routine health services such as vaccination, growth monitoring, antenatal care, TB and HIV services.

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