The impact of COVID-19 lockdowns is just beginning to be understood.
Consider the findings from a new UN report on South Asia—home to 1.8 billion people:
- Pandemic-related service disruptions may have spurred some 239,000 maternal and child deaths, BBC reports.
- 228,000 additional deaths of under-5s from lost services such as nutrition and immunizations.
- 35% and 65% drops in child immunizations in India and Pakistan, respectively
- 3.5 million additional unwanted pregnancies due to limited access to contraception
To regain some of what was lost, the report lays out policy suggestions and urges investment in health systems, poverty alleviation, human capital, and gender equity.
“This pandemic may have been unprecedented, but those in the future will not be, and
the world needs to be prepared,” it concludes.