To Avoid Premature Maternal, Child Deaths In Latin America, Caribbean, RMNCH Services Must Be Strengthened, Expert Writes
The Lancet: Maternal and child mortality worsens in Latin America and the Caribbean
Arachu Castro, Samuel Z. Stone endowed chair of public health in Latin America and director of the Collaborative Group for Health Equity in Latin America (CHELA) at the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine
“The response to the COVID-19 pandemic in most Latin American and Caribbean countries has led to the suspension or limitation of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health (RMNCH) services that need restoration as soon as possible to avoid premature deaths. The UNDP-UNICEF commissioned report, Challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the health of women, children, and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean, finds that the ongoing reduction in coverage is reversing achievements made in the past two decades on maternal and child mortality. … These data more than justify the need to strengthen RMNCH services instead of suspending or limiting them, by: (1) increasing public spending on health and social policies to control the pandemic and to favor social and economic reactivation and reconstruction; (2) restoring and rebuilding essential health services; and (3) strengthening the primary health care strategy” (10/13).