Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 and Strengthening Health Systems in the Middle East and North Africa   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Key Messages: "[1] MNA [Middle East and North Africa] region faces a high risk of morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019], attributable to a high and growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and a diverse range of vulnerable and at-risk populations due to poverty, inequality and humanitarian crises. [2] COVID-19 is expected to cause a significant shock on MNA health systems, not only directly but also through indirect effects on care-seeking for other essential health services. This will exacerbate the systems' pre-existing weaknesses across low and inequitable levels of financing, fragmented and inflexible service delivery, limited and inefficiently distributed human resources and physical resources, and weak surveillance and health information systems. [3] While the governments and their partners, including the World Bank, have taken decisive steps in responding to the emergency, there remains a need for continued support in strengthening the health system to ensure continuity of services, particularly in terms of accelerating reforms to improve the level and distribution of health financing, physical and human resources; improving the flexibility and quality of services at community, primary and hospital levels; proactively involving the private sector; and improving surveillance capacity and integrated health information systems."

World Bank Group
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