Vaccination rates for children in Lebanon have dropped by more than 30 percent due to drug shortages and emigration of trained professionals, further complicating the health crisis.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in a new report entitled “Worse health crisis for children”.
“Routine vaccinations for children have dropped by 31 percent when rates were already alarmingly low, creating a large pool of vulnerable children at risk for the disease and its effects.”
Since 2019, Lebanon has been in an unprecedented financial crisis. The World Bank says it is usually related to war. The currency has lost more than 90 percent of its value, and more than 60 percent of the population now lives below the poverty line.
“Many families cannot even afford transportation to take their children to healthcare centers,” UNICEF Representative Et Higgins said in a statement.
According to a UNICEF report, between April and October 2021, the number of children without access to health care increased from 26 percent to 34 percent.
With the government extremely poor in its ability to import basic products such as medicines, many are fighting for the source of life-saving medicines, including medicines used to treat chronic illnesses.
According to UNICEF, more than 50 percent of families do not have access to the medicines they need, and at least 58 percent of hospitals have a shortage of medicines.
To make matters worse, the financial crisis has triggered the emigration of healthcare professionals.
According to UNICEF, 40 percent of physicians and 30 percent of midwives have left the country.