The Pandemic, School Closures, and the Rise of Inequality
School-age minors have suffered one of the COVID-19 pandemic’s most dramatic disruptions. In March 2020, schools closed their doors across the globe, and more than 1.5 billion students worldwide ceased to learn in physical classrooms—or, in many cases, in any organized fashion at all. By the fall of 2020, and then increasingly over the course of the spring, school systems in some countries began to experiment with partial and hybrid reopenings that allowed children to return to their campuses for a few hours or days each week. But not every school system has managed this much. The effects of school closures will not be easy to dispel—and they are particularly devastating for children in low- and middle-income countries.
Emerging Infectious Diseases — Learning from the Past and Looking to the Future
Remarkable progress has been made in preventing deaths from infectious diseases. Now, attention could shift to focusing more resources on pandemic preparedness, including detecting and containing emerging zoonotic threats while they are localized and manageable.
Since the start of the 20th century, there have been substantial reductions in deaths from infectious diseases in high-income countries. In the United States, infectious disease mortality fell from about 800 per 100,00 people in 1900 (accounting for nearly 50% of all deaths) to 50 percent 100 people in 1950 (account- ing for about 6% of deaths).
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Source: NEJM Group
COVID-19, infection control, and cholera
While the focus of healthcare research and reporting has understandably been primarily on the COVID-19 pandemic in the last year, other diseases and conditions have presented a quietly growing threat; particularly in low-income and developing nations.
Dr Osama B Hassan, of the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health in the University of Nottingham’s School of Medicine, co-authored an article in The Lancet’s EClinical Medicine journal earlier this year titled ‘Cholera during COVID-19: the forgotten threat for forcibly displaced populations’; he tells HEQ about the impact of COVID-19 on efforts to combat ongoing threat of cholera.
114 million children still out of the classroom in Latin America and the Caribbean
The world’s largest number of children without face-to-face schooling
Total and partial school closures in Latin America and the Caribbean currently leave about 114 million students without face-to-face schooling according to UNICEF’s latest estimates.
One year after the beginning of the pandemic, Latin America and the Caribbean remains the region in the world with the largest number of children still missing out on in-person classes. On average, children in this region have lost 158 school days of face-to-face schooling.