Health First

Health systems risk being overwhelmed by the COVID-19 outbreak. When health systems collapse, deaths from the outbreak itself could quickly be exceeded by deaths from preventable or treatable conditions, no longer managed by a failing health system.  It is therefore crucial to maintain essential lifesaving health services even while addressing the pandemic. Countries need to make difficult decisions to balance the demands of responding directly to COVID-19, while simultaneously maintaining essential health service delivery, mitigating the risk of system collapse.