Third round of the National Survey on the Continuity of Essential Health Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic: November-December 2021. Interim report for the Region of the Americas, January 2022
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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to expose the limitations of health systems across the Region of the Americas, and globally. COVID-19 vaccination programs have been rolled out in most countries, but concerns remain in terms of production, delivery, and equitable access. At the same time, new outbreaks and variants continue to emerge. Health systems are therefore still facing a dual burden as they strive to ensure the continuity of essential health services while combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes in care provision to meet increased demand for COVID-19 care have challenged local and national capacities to maintain access to essential health services across all priority areas in most countries of the Region. In this context, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed the global pulse survey on continuity of essential health services during the COVID-19 pandemic to help monitor and manage the extent of the disruptions to essential health services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has been supporting the implementation of the survey in the countries of the Region. The three rounds of the survey provide an opportunity to assess how the pandemic’s impact has evolved over time regarding disruptions and rebounds in services and responses, mitigation strategies, and bottlenecks to the implementation of COVID-19 essential tools. During November–December 2021 the third round of the survey was launched, in which 223 countries, territories, and areas were invited to respond to a standardized web-based survey. This report presents the results of the third round of the survey for the countries in the Region of the Americas. It also includes an assessment of trends over time in the continuation of essential health services, where feasible. To ensure coherence and harmonization, this report adopts the structure and content of the WHO global report on the results of the third round of the survey.
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