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This technical brief highlights the emerging evidence on the impacts of COVID-19 on fertility. It provides a historical overview on fertility in times of crises, data on reproductive behaviour during COVID-19 in countries throughout Europe and North America, as well as new data from four UNFPA programme countries. The technical brief highlights the crucial importance of classifying sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services as “essential services” during the pandemic, and underscores the responsibility of governments to assure that all persons can exercise their reproductive rights, even during a global pandemic. Lastly, the brief warns not to resort to population alarmism in response to short-term changes in fertility caused by COVID-19, but to ensure the provision of SRH services at all times.
This action brief summarizes the latest status and trends of key areas related to women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and well-being from a global perspective. It aims to promote coordinated action among global and national partners to recognize and overcome the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, children and adolescents and to accelerate progress to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Rise, Respond, Recover is an update to Protect the Progress: 2020 progress report on Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s, Childrens’ and Adolescents’ Health (September 2020), capturing key evidence points presented in May 2021 to the World Health Assembly as well as top priorities and activities among partners.
Cirenia Chávez; Marco Valenza; Annika Rigole; Thomas Dreesen
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every aspect of society. In mid-April 2020, 192 countries had closed their schools, putting 9 out of 10 enrolled children out of school.
These closures disproportionately affected marginalized children, worsening existing inequities across education systems worldwide.
This brief draws on the experience of five UNICEF education country programmes supported by the Let Us Learn (LUL) initiative, to document tangible lessons in adapting education programmes to support the most marginalized children during school and learning centre closures.
The evidence in this brief stems from a series of semi-structured interviews with Education and Child Protection specialists, as well as a document review of available COVID-19 response studies, in the five LUL-supported UNICEF Country Offices.
Dita Nugroho; Youngkwang Jeon; Akito Kamei; Florencia Lopez Boo
This paper presents a new estimate that pre-primary school closures in 2020 may cost today’s young children US$1.6 trillion in lost earnings over their lifetimes. Children in middle-income countries will be most greatly affected. However, most low- and middle- income countries are leaving pre-primary education out of their responses to COVID-19. This paper also draws lessons from evaluations of accelerated, bridging and remedial programmes on how introducing or expanding these transition programmes in the early years can mitigate the long-term impact on learning from pre-primary school closures.
Sowmyashree M. Kaku
The purpose of this brief is to summarize current evidence and guidance for maintaining safe and effective care across the spectrum of maternal, newborn and infant care while protecting mother and child and health care providers during COVID-19. Furthermore, we review implications of the principle of “do no harm” for maternal, newborn and infant care delivery during COVID-19, so that this information is conveniently and readily available to clinical and health system policy leaders and stakeholders in countries and communities. Additionally, considerations for safe oxygen delivery as well as key Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures at home and in healthcare facilities for pregnant women, newborns and children are described in detail later in the brief.
Hai-Anh Dang; Gbemisola Oseni; Alberto Zezza
Felicity Aiano; Anna A. Mensah; Kelsey McOwat (et al.)
Laura De Nardi; Giuseppe Abbracciavento; Giorgio Cozzi (et al.)
Adolescents with mental health disorders are a high‐risk population, and problems during COVID‐19 lockdowns have included increasing, widespread anxiety, fear, anger and uncertainty. Somatic symptom disorder (SSD) is characterised by disproportionate thoughts, feelings and behaviours about physical symptoms associated with the distress and disruption of everyday functioning. SSD accounts for 15%–25% of adolescent mental health cases in primary care paediatric settings, and 8.6% of non‐traumatic adolescent pain in emergency departments. This cross‐sectional observational study evaluated how the Italian COVID‐19 lockdown, from 9 March to 4 May 2020, affected Italian adolescents aged 13–18 with and without SSD.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the largest disruption of education in history. Throughout 2020 most governments around the world temporarily closed schools and other learning spaces in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. At the peak of the pandemic in April 2020, schooling was disrupted for over 1.5 billion learners in more than 190 countries. This unprecedented disruption to education has the potential to roll back substantial gains made on girls’ education inrecent decades, with broader immediate and longer-term effects on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to poverty reduction, health and well-being, inclusive quality education and gender equality.
Halil Celik; Sadettin Burak Acikel; Fatih Mehmet Akif Ozdemir (et al.)
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an existing learning crisis in Sierra Leone, and has disrupted the learning of over 2.4 million children across the country. The most marginalised and deprived children, including girls, children from poor households, and children from rural areas, already had limited access to good quality education prior to the pandemic, and are now at an increased risk of being left behind, and not returning to school at all. Save the Children are calling on the Government of Sierra Leone to commit to realising the right to quality education for all children by ensuring that all children are able to return to school safely, and that long-term, systemic issues with the education system damaging the quality of learning are acted on to ensure that all children are able to access good quality education.
Tom Bailey; Richard P. Hastings; V. Totsika
UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.
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