Health System Resilience: How are Francophone Countries Planning for a Post-COVID World?
Join us to hear insight on the plans donors, governments, NGOs, and implementing partners from the Francophone Africa region have to address COVID-19’s impact on overall health systems.
Additional background on what’s brought us together:
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront a global need to support and invest in strong and resilient health systems. As the crisis relates to the 88 French-speaking countries, 86 have been struck by the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 on French-speaking countries is significant, especially in fragile countries, whose social systems are less robust and are likely to face more difficulties, with the risk of seeing a substantial part of their population fall into extreme poverty.
As a crisis started in the field of public health, it has now accumulated to a crisis across every sphere, from health to the economy, and security to social protection. These impacts of COVID-19 are further exacerbated for women and girls. Among other things, there is the fear of attending health facilities by women due to the likelihood of contracting COVID-19. This will result in a proportional decrease in the use of contraceptives, and the increase in unmet need for contraception will lead to an increase in cases of unwanted pregnancies with its share of consequences.
Many Francophone countries responded to the crisis with a range of levels of success. While some governments have strongly responded to the pandemic with a systems-based approach, other governments realized that their lack of long-term investments in their health system has made effective COVID response an uphill battle. Without strong, fundamental health systems, countries struggle to both respond to the pandemic and continue to provide essential health services, resulting in reversals of gains made in anti-natal care, maternal health interventions, and basic immunizations. Adding to these challenges, misinformation about COVID-19 and stigma against health workers are growing across lower- and middle-income countries. Even if there is a vaccine for COVID-19 in the near future, communities must overcome their distrust of government, widespread misinformation, and concerns of health workers to even consider this option.