International aid agency World Vision today warned that we will see a significant loss of life from COVID-19 in fragile countries if the international community does not respond urgently.
As the higher income countries across the world are moving on from the COVID-19 pandemic the world’s most vulnerable continue to face dangerous increases in cases. Myanmar’s massive spike in COVID-19 cases highlights the potential impact that the virus can have on conflict-affected countries where the delta variant has yet to spread.
On Tuesday, Myanmar reported 286 deaths – a new high.1 The UN is warning of limited access to hospital beds and oxygen cylinders, and of the need to urgently scale up critical health services and vaccination efforts.
“Myanmar’s struggle to contain the virus is a lesson to us all that we are by no means through this crisis and many nations – but especially those that are facing conflicts or extremely fragile – may yet be deeply impacted by the pandemic,” says World Vision Myanmar National Director, Grenville Hopkinson.
The situation has been worsening in Africa which is experiencing its third - and worst wave of COVID-19 - with the Delta variant now present across the continent. Countries including South Africa, Uganda and Zambia are among those accounting for the most deaths. So far only 1.4% of the population of Africa has been fully vaccinated.
The Delta variant could prove especially deadly in nations that suffer from weak governance, conflict and that lack health and social support systems. The deadly impact of the virus in India and now Indonesia - where yesterday more than 1,383 people were recorded as dying from COVID-19 - demonstrates the potential outcome.
“COVID-19 has shone a light upon the clear divide between the world’s rich and poor. Inequitable vaccination programmes not only leave the disease unchecked, risking the emergence of new and more deadly variants but also leave behind countries and economies to be decimated by waves of COVID-19 infection. The disproportionate burden of these waves is simply too much for poorer and more vulnerable nations, with already weak healthcare systems. The international community must prioritise vaccination for human beings in all countries. This pandemic will not end until all are protected,” said Mr Hopkinson.
Notes to editors:
World Vision's global COVID-19 Response has already reached more than 62 million people with efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 and reduce its impact on vulnerable children and families. The international aid agency is now working to mobilise its influential grassroots networks of faith leaders, community health workers, and government partners globally to support the roll out of vaccines and help communities hold duty bearers accountable for ensuring their fair allocation, while continuing to support the scale up of preventative measures, strengthening health systems and workers, and supporting children affected by COVID-19 directly and indirectly.
Throughout their response, World Vision Myanmar’s programming has prioritised basic needs exacerbated by the recent political crisis along with the activities of COVID-19 awareness and prevention in the communities. In response to this spike, they will strengthen community-based care and provide targeted support to children and families who are isolating or directly affected by the disease.
For further information or to organise an interview, please contact:
Jennifer Neelsen, Global COVID-19 Response Director, World Vision International (California, US) – phone: +1 661 855 3015 | Skype: jenniferjillmonique | email: Jennifer_neelsen@wvi.org
Moe Thu, HEA Director, World Vision Myanmar – phone: + 95 9 4431 45025 | email: Moe_Thu@wvi.org
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.wvi.org or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision