As many as 30 million children are at risk of disease and death because of the secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. World Vision’s Aftershocks report considers what would happen if the devastating secondary impacts of the 2015-2016 Ebola outbreak on children were replicated in the 24 most fragile countries covered by the UN’s COVID-19 humanitarian appeal.
“We are wrong if we think this is not a children’s disease. Experience tells us that when epidemics overwhelm health systems, the impact on children is deadly. They are the most vulnerable as other diseases and malnutrition go untreated,” says Andrew Morley, World Vision International President and CEO. “COVID-19 has become a devastating pandemic, but the secondary impacts will likely be a lot worse for children in fragile contexts.”
Secondary impacts will threaten many more children’s lives than COVID-19 itself. As many as 30-million children’s lives are in danger from secondary health impacts such as deadly disease or lack of immunization, increased malnutrition as well as increased number of children dying from Malaria (as heath capacity is focused on COVID-19 patients).