Nepalwatch

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2nd of December 2022

Lebanon’s economic crisis threatens children’s health: UNICEF

The ripple effects of the global economic situation, such as higher costs and inflation, are exacerbating Lebanon’s crisis, including serious consequences for children’s health, according to a report released by the United Nations Children’s Fund on Wednesday.

“With 80 percent of the population living in poverty, many families cannot even afford the cost of transportation to take their children to a health care center, and many are no longer able to provide the food and nutrition their children need to survive and thrive,” Ettie Higgins, UNICEF’s representative in Lebanon, was quoted as saying in a UNICEF statement sent to Xinhua.

Dubbed “A worsening health crisis for children,” the report noted that the economic crisis caused disruptions in the health sector which was already beset by a major exodus of medical professionals, a hiring freeze by health facilities and limitations on imports of medications and equipment that have seriously affected the quality of healthcare for women and children.

It also highlighted the reduction in vaccination rates, which has left children vulnerable to potentially deadly diseases such as measles, diphtheria and pneumonia.

Routine vaccination of children has plummeted by 31 percent when rates already were worryingly low, leaving a large pool of unprotected children exposed to diseases and their impact, the report added.

“UNICEF reinforces its call to the Lebanese government and all stakeholders to scale up efforts to vaccinate all children against vaccine preventable diseases, and to improve the nutritional well-being of children and women,” Higgins was quoted as saying in the statement.

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