Community Health Toolkit

WHO Pulse Survey on Continuity of Essential Health Services During COVID-19

In August 2020, the WHO released an interim report based on findings from a pulse survey focused on continuity of essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings included in the interim report have implications for monitoring of care delivery in health systems supported by the CHT, as well as more broadly as we work with our collaborators to craft evaluation plans that are attentive to the impact of the pandemic.

The report is linked to this post - and the link to the original WHO news release is embedded as well. As written in the Executive Summary of the report:

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 5ā€“50% in service provision or use. Severe/complete disruptions were defined as a change of more than 50% in service provision or use.

Other key findings include:

  • 76% of countries reported reductions in outpatient care attendance
  • Other factors, such as lockdowns hindering access to care and financial difficulties during lockdown were also mentioned as contributing factors to declines in care-seeking behavior
  • 80 countries indicated priorities and technical assistance needs, including i) guidance and support in adapting strategies to maintain essential health services, ii) assuring essential supplies, strengthening the health workforce, iii) implementing adequate infection prevention and control capacities, iv) risk communication, v) monitoring and telemedicine.

Iā€™d be interested to hear reactions to the report, as well as the definition of disruption used by the WHO, from members of the CHT community. Iā€™d venture a guess that many organizations and health systems have experienced some type of disruption to care - and likely a disruption that meets or exceeds the WHO definition.

WHO Pulse Survey - August 2020.pdf (1.4 MB)