Analysis: Now Is the Time To Build Stronger and More Equitable Systems
By Mamta Murthi
Over the past 22 months, health systems around the world have been under immense strain as countries have confronted the deadliest pandemic of the last 100 years and embarked on an unprecedented global vaccination effort. COVID-19’s pressures have shed light on systemic weaknesses and worsened equity gaps, particularly in low-income countries, which for too long have received little investment to build resilience.
Those who have been hit hardest are low-income communities and the most vulnerable people. They have the fewest resources to build their resilience ahead of time or to respond to the crisis. That is why equity must be at the heart of the continued pandemic response, with the most vulnerable and marginalized able to have access to the services they need.
Among the pandemic’s devastating ripple effects is the disruption of up to 25% of essential health services, igniting a secondary health crisis — particularly for women, children, and adolescents. Unfortunately, women and children are dying from health issues that are entirely preventable or easily treatable. They are unable to access hydration when sick, routine vaccinations, or care during childbirth.
Photo courtesy of TRD Studios.