WHO says world’s poorest people remains the most vulnerable to COVID-19
…expresses worry over spike among indigenous people in Americans
July 21, 2020 -The World Health Organisation says although people of all walks of life are affected by COVID-19, the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are especially at risk.
Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus made this known in his daily briefing on Monday, explaining that it is true of indigenous peoples all over the world, in urban or remote areas.
According to Ghebreyesus , there are up to 500 million indigenous peoples worldwide, in over 90 countries.
He explained that indigenous peoples have unique cultures and languages, and deep relationships with the environment and like other vulnerable groups, indigenous peoples face many challenges.
He said that’s some of the challenges indigenous people face includes lack of political representation, economic marginalization and lack of access to health, education and social services.
“Indigenous peoples often have a high burden of poverty, unemployment, malnutrition and both communicable and non-communicable diseases, making them more vulnerable to COVID-19 and its severe outcomes.
“Although COVID-19 is a risk for all indigenous peoples globally, WHO is deeply concerned about the impact of the virus on indigenous peoples in the Americas, which remains the current epicenter of the pandemic.
Ghebreyesus said that as of the 6th of July, more than 70,000 cases have been reported among indigenous peoples in the Americas, and more than 2000 deaths.
He said that most recently, at least 6 cases have been reported among the Nahua people, who live in the Peruvian Amazon.
According to him, WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas recently published recommendations for preventing and responding to COVID-19 among indigenous peoples.
He said that WHO is also working with the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin to step up the fight against COVID-19