In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the forefront a global need to support and invest in strong and resilient health systems. Eighty-six out of the eighty-eight French-speaking countries have been struck by the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic provokes a succession of crisis which started in the field of public health, which accumulated by an economic crisis of an unprecedented scale. Many Francophone countries responded to the crisis with a range of levels of success, giving countries the capability of taking the lead. The impact of COVID-19 on French-speaking countries is significant, especially in fragile countries, whose social systems are less robust and are likely to face more difficulties, with the risk of seeing a substantial part of their population fall into extreme poverty.
Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls. Among other things, there is the fear of attending health facilities by women due to the likelihood of contracting COVID-19. This will result in a proportional decrease in the use of contraceptives, the increase in unmet need for contraception will lead to an increase in cases of unwanted pregnancies with its share of consequences.
While some governments have strongly responded to the pandemic with a systems-based approach, other governments realized that their lack of long-term investments in their health system has made effective COVID response an uphill battle. Without strong fundamental health systems, countries are struggling to both respond to the pandemic and continue to provide essential health services resulting in reversals of gains made in anti-natal care, maternal health interventions, and basic immunizations. Adding to these challenges, misinformation about COVID-19 and stigma against health workers are growing across lower- and middle-income countries. Even if there is a vaccine for COVID-19 in the near future, communities must overcome their distrust of government, widespread misinformation, and concerns of health workers to even consider this option.
- Dr. Valerie Kumgang, Deputy Director for Emergency Response, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Dr. Frank Tankoano, AmplifyPF Chief of Party
- Dr. Marie-Claude Mbuyi, DRC Deputy Country Director, Pathfinder International
Veuillez rejoindre Intrahealth International, Pathfinder International et Women in Global Health pour une discussion importante avec des bailleurs, des représentants de gouvernement, et des experts de la société civile sur le Covid-19 dans les pays francophones, lundi le 21 septembre à 10h00 EST (14h00 GMT). Cette session sera en français avec traduction en anglais. L’évènement est gratuit mais l’inscription est obligatoire.