31 March 2021
In addition to the direct health risks of the COVID-19, the indirect effects have also severely disrupted access to basic health services that prevent, diagnose, and treat patients with noncommunicable diseases. Every year, NCDs kill 41 million people — making up 71% of all deaths globally. The majority of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, where health systems often have limited capacity and resources for health and care.
We’re now facing a syndemic — the convergence of several epidemics — with individuals around the globe facing severe disruption to care, preventive screenings, and postponed surgeries. It has also created a ticking time bomb when it comes to cardiovascular health. At the height of the crisis, more than half of the 155 countries surveyed by the World Health Organization reported partially or completely disrupted services for hypertension treatment, with 31% of cardiovascular emergencies disrupted