Giving Compass' Take:

• Here are eight barriers that contribute to health inequality for people living in poverty, and how COVID-19 can exacerbate these obstacles. 

• How can donors play a role in helping advance global health goals that address health equality? 

• Read more about making an impact in global health. 

Being a pandemic, the COVID-19 coronavirus threatens everyone around the world, regardless of national borders.

But this is not to say that all communities are equally vulnerable. Indeed, organizations like Oxfam have warned that people living in low- and middle-income countries, and those living in marginalized communities within high-income countries too, are especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even when there is not a global pandemic raging, people living in poverty are far too vulnerable to gaps in the global health care system. As recently as 2017, it was found that at least half the world’s population did not have access to essential health care services, according to the World Health Organization. Furthermore, health care expenses globally are so high that they push 100 million people into extreme poverty each year.

The reasons for this are often complex and interconnected — for instance, vaccines can be hard to access because of a lack of electricity for storing them safely, and people living in crowded slums are also likely to have little access to clean water and sanitation. But all must be addressed by Global Citizens in order to achieve the goal of quality health care for all.

Here are some of the biggest obstacles people living in poverty around the world face in accessing quality health care, and how this lack of health care can affect their lives.

  1. Lack of Access to Vaccines
  2. Lack of Access to Medication
  3. Poor Water and Sanitation
  4. Lack of Electricity
  5. Crowded Living Conditions
  6. Lack of Doctors
  7. Lack of Health Care Facilities
  8. Cost

Read the full article about barriers to health equality by Brandon Wiggins at Global Citizen.