The population of America lost 2.9 years of life expectancy since 2019 due to the impact of covid-19, according to the Health in the Americas report released this Tuesday by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
With more than 177 million cases and 2.8 million deaths, America has at times become the epicenter of the covid-19 pandemic, according to the report presented at the 30th PAHO Pan American Sanitary Conference.
“The pandemic has directly and indirectly affected the health of the population and threatened progress against various diseases,” said Sebastián García Saiso, director of the PAHO Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health.
Life expectancy in Latin America and the Caribbean fell 2.9 years, from 75.1 years in 2019 to 72.2 in 2021, highlights the publication, which is based on estimates from the World Population Prospects 2022 of the UN.
Life expectancy also fell in North America, where a reduction of 1.8 years is observed.
“The fall in life expectancy can be reversed to the extent that countries advance with vaccination against covid-19, strengthen their health services to provide care for all, and reduce inequities,” said García Saiso.
According to the report, the region concentrated 37% of the total cases of covid-19 and 45% of deaths globally.
Although North America recorded 55% of cases in the region, 62% of deaths occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The pandemic also disrupted health care and affected many of the professionals in the sector.
Until the end of 2021, 93% of countries reported outages in the provision of essential health services.
In addition, until November 2021, 41 countries and territories in the region reported almost 2.4 million cases among health personnel and 13,081 deaths.