Children, adolescents deeply impacted by Covid-19 pandemic, PAHO says

Washington, Sep 16 (Prensa Latina) Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa F. Etienne said Wednesday that the Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted the mental and physical health of children and adolescents in the Americas, both in the increased infections and other health issues, official sources reported.

Dr. Etienne said over 1.5 million cases were reported in the region last year, while more than 1.9 million have already been reported in the first nine months of this year.

‘As more adults receive their Covid-19 vaccines, children – who are not yet eligible for vaccinations in most countries – are representing a larger percentage of Covid-19 hospitalizations and even deaths,’ she regretted.

This health crisis also harms the health of minors in other ways; for example, in many Latin American and Caribbean nations, children and adolescents are missing annual check-ups and routine vaccinations due to widespread disruptions to health systems.

‘Half of young people have experienced increased stress or anxiety during the pandemic, yet mental health services and support remain out of reach for many,’ she stressed.

Sexual and reproductive health services have been disrupted in more than half of countries in the region, and lockdowns and economic disruptions have increased the risk of domestic violence that can make home unsafe for children and adolescents.

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