© Belga

More than 6,000 children under the age of five could die every day if no urgent action is taken, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns in a statement on Wednesday, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to weaken health systems and disrupt current services.

The estimate is based on an analysis by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, published in The Lancet Global Health journal.

The analysis is based on the most pessimistic outcome of three scenarios in 118 low and middle-income countries.

Under this scenario an additional 1.2 million children deaths under the age of five could occur in the next six months, due to a decline of routine health services and an increase in weight loss among children.

In addition, some 56,000 more maternal deaths could also occur over the same period.

According to UNICEF, these potential child deaths would be added to the deaths of 2,5 million children under the age of five already registered every six months in the 118 countries covered by the study, threatening to reverse nearly a decade of progress towards eliminating preventable infant deaths.

This week, UNICEF is launching “#reimagine”, a global campaign to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic from becoming a lasting crisis for children, especially the most vulnerable, such as those affected by poverty, exclusion. or family violence.

The Brussels Times

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