According to the World Health Organization (WHO), prevention and treatment services for non-contagious diseases have been partially disrupted since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHO General Director, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was quoted as saying: “It is vital that countries find innovative ways to ensure that essential services for chronic diseases continue while at the same time fighting COVID-19”.
Around the world, many specialist resources outside non-communicable diseases were partially or completely reassigned to support COVID-19 care, while scheduled treatments and public monitoring programs were postponed.
Scientists expect the virus to become endemic, although it could potentially pose less of a threat over time as communities develop some immunity and symptoms become milder, and cases less severe. However, we will need to remain prepared for potential future outbreaks that could put pressure on the health system.
We asked our members to share their thoughts about the possibility of introducing COVID-19 specific facilities, with an overwhelming majority agreeing that they will be needed moving forward.