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Health expenses for the poorest

According to a report released on December 12 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank, the pandemic is expected to interrupt the progress made towards universal health coverage in several countries over the last two decades. In 2019, before the pandemic, 68% of the world’s population had access to essential health services, such as antenatal, postnatal, and reproductive health care, immunization, treatment of infectious diseases, and diagnosis of noncommunicable diseases (cancer, diabetes, heart disease). From 2000 to 2017, the number of people living in extreme poverty (on less than US$1.90 a day) who had to pay for access to health services fell from 1.16 billion to 505 million. Despite improvements, 996 million individuals spent more than 10% of the family budget on health care in 2017. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on health services, the WHO and the World Bank estimate that more than half a billion people are being pushed into extreme poverty due to needing to pay for access to health care.

500 million is the approximate number of people pushed into extreme poverty by health care expenses