Ensuring adequate health financing to prevent and control the COVID-19 in Iran

Author: Masoud Behzadifar, Mahboubeh Khaton Ghanbari, Ahad Bakhtiari, Meysam Behzadifar & Nicola Luigi Bragazzi

On February 19th 2020, the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MoHME) has announced the first 2 cases of SARS-CoV-2, a novel emerging coronavirus which causes an infection termed as COVID-19, in Qom city. As such, the Iranian government, through the establishment of the “National Headquarters for the management and control of the novel Coronavirus”, has started implementing policies and programs for the prevention and control of the virus. These measures include schools and universities closure, reduced working hours, and increased production and delivery of equipment such as masks, gloves and hygienic materials for sterile environments. The government has also made efforts to divulge high-quality information concerning the COVID-19 and to provide laboratories and hospitals with diagnostic kits and adequate resources to treat patients. However, despite such efforts, the number of cases and deaths has progressively increased with rising trends in total confirmed cases and deaths, as well as in new daily cases and deaths associated with the COVID-19. Iran is a developing country and its economic infrastructure has been hit hardly by embargo and sanctions. While developed countries have allocated appropriate funding and are responding adequately to the COVID-19 pandemics, Iran has experienced a serious surge of cases and deaths and should strive to provide additional resources to the health system to make healthcare services more accessible and to increase the fairness of that access. All relevant actors and stakeholders should work together to fight this disease.

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