Experts Warn COVID-19 Likely To Heavily Impact Developing World, Refugee Camps, Vaccine Campaigns

NPR: Refugee Camps Face COVID-19: ‘If We Do Nothing, The Harm Is Going To Be So Extreme’
“What will happen when COVID-19 hits refugee camps? That’s what Dr. Paul Spiegel and a team of researchers have been examining. … The researchers will use the findings to make recommendations to the United Nations and global aid groups on how to deliver medical care and check the spread of the coronavirus in similar refugee settings. Spiegel, a former senior official at the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the director of Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Humanitarian Health, explains why these camps are ripe for disease outbreaks — and what aid groups must do now to help…” (Gharib, 3/31).

The Telegraph: Measles and polio may come ‘roaring back’ as global vaccination programs shut down
“The coronavirus outbreak could lead to a resurgence of childhood diseases such as measles and polio, as the pandemic has shut down routine vaccination schedules and disrupted supply chains, experts have warned. While the unprecedented interventions introduced to stem the Covid-19 pandemic should prevent other disease outbreaks in the short term there is a real concern about a potential explosion of infectious, preventable illnesses when life returns to ‘normal’…” (Newey/Gulland, 3/31).

Washington Post: Public health experts: Coronavirus could overwhelm the developing world
“…[E]pidemiologists and other public health experts say the coronavirus is poised to spread dangerously south, engulfing developing nations already plagued by fraying health-care systems, fragile governments, and impoverished populations for whom social distancing can be practically impossible. They warned of an amplified global crisis in the coming weeks, striking nations that can least afford it at a time when wealthy countries are likely to be too preoccupied with outbreaks of their own to offer the kind of assistance they’ve extended during episodes of disease that were confined to the developing world. Add in the extreme population density and poor sanitary conditions in vast urban slums, and experts warn that the pain of the pandemic is about to tilt quickly from richer nations to poorer ones…” (Faiola et al., 4/1).

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