In low-income and middle-income countries, overstretched health care systems reached a breaking point when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Health care access — even for standard medical checkups and interventions — plummeted while costs soared.
While the medical crisis affects all countries we serve, Latin America has been disproportionately affected, especially in the hard-hit countries of Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Guatemala. Many children seeking routine care and even some specialized treatments have been delayed or turned away in these countries. And when care was available, the cost was prohibitive.
As a result, our church partners desperately need assistance with the backlog of medical needs among Compassion-assisted children. Compared to last year, our centers are now paying 34% more for children’s routine health care. And they must prepare for the medical costs of new children who will soon be registered into the program.
The Sobering Facts
Pushed into Poverty
500 million people were pushed into extreme poverty by health care costs even before the pandemic.
Deaths in Localized Region
28.8% of all COVID-19 deaths worldwide happened in the Latin America and Caribbean region.
Record High Poverty
In the Latin America and Caribbean region, the health crisis of the last few years has caused extreme poverty to spike to its highest level in 27 years.