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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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Sexual and reproductive health and rights in the era of COVID-19: a qualitative study of the experiences of vulnerable urban youth in Ethiopia

Nicola Jones; Kate Pincock; Workneh Yadete (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Sexual Health

Youth who have migrated from rural to urban areas in Ethiopia are often precariously employed, lack access to sexual and reproductive health services, and are at heightened risk of sexual violence. However, little is known about the sexual and reproductive health consequences of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and associated lockdowns and service disruptions for urban-dwelling socially disadvantaged youth. This paper draws on qualitative virtual research with 154 urban youths aged 15–24 years who were past and present beneficiaries of United Nations Population Fund-funded programs, and 19 key informants from the city bureaus and non-governmental organisations in June 2020. Semistructured interviews by phone explored the impact of COVID-19 on young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

COVID-19 and social policy in contexts of existing inequality: experiences of youth with disabilities in Ethiopia and Jordan

Kate Pincock; Nicola Jonesa; Kifah Baniodeh (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Disability & Society
This article explores the social policy implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for adolescents and young people with disabilities in Ethiopia and Jordan. The article draws on qualitative research interviews carried out in person between November and December 2019 and by phone between April and June 2020 with 65 young people with hearing, visual and physical impairments in urban settings in both countries, complemented by interviews with key informants in government and civil society organisations working with young people. Whilst in Jordan social policy on disability is more developed, and in Ethiopia, systems are still embryonic, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the marginalisation of adolescents and young people with disabilities in both contexts as health, education and social protection systems have been slow to mobilise targeted support and address social exclusion. This article identifies social policy gaps in Ethiopia and Jordan that must be addressed in order to support young people with disabilities during crises.
Impact of the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic on coverage of reproductive, maternal, and newborn health interventions in Ethiopia: a natural experiment

Emily D. Carter; Linnea Zimmerman; Jiage Qian (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic and response have the potential to disrupt access and use of reproductive, maternal, and newborn health (RMNH) services. Numerous initiatives aim to gauge the indirect impact of COVID-19 on RMNH. This study assessed the impact of COVID-19 on RMNH coverage in the early stages of the pandemic using panel survey data from PMA-Ethiopia. Enrolled pregnant women were surveyed 6-weeks post-birth. It compared the odds of service receipt, coverage of RMNCH service indicators, and health outcomes within the cohort of women who gave birth prior to the pandemic and the COVID-19 affected cohort. We calculated impacts nationally and by urbanicity.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on intimate partner violence during pregnancy: evidence from a multimethods study of recently pregnant women in Ethiopia

Shannon N. Wood; Robel Yirgu; Abigiya Wondimagegnehu (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: BMJ Open

This multimethods study aimed to: (1) compare the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy pre-COVID-19 and during the COVID-19 pandemic using quantitative data and (2) contextualise pregnant women’s IPV experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic through supplemental interviews. Quantitative analyses use data from Performance Monitoring for Action-Ethiopia, a cohort of 2868 pregnant women that collects data at pregnancy, 6 weeks, 6 months and 1-year postpartum. Following 6-week postpartum survey, in-depth semistructured interviews contextualised experiences of IPV during pregnancy with a subset of participants (n=24).

Determinants of poor sleep quality during the COVID-19 pandemic among women attending antenatal care services at the health facilities of Debre Berhan Town, Ethiopia: an institutional-based cross-sectional study

Nakachew Sewnet Amare; Basazinew Chekol; Agazhe Aemro (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry

Women’s ability to get sleep can be affected by pregnancy-related hormonal changes or other external stressful situations like the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The objective of this study was to assess the proportion of poor sleep quality during the COVID-19 pandemic and its determinants among pregnant women attending antenatal care (ANC) services. An institutional-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 423 women attending ANC services at the health facilities in Debre Berhan Town, Ethiopia, from May to June 2020. A systematic random sampling technique was used to select the required samples. The tool consisted of questions that assessed (1) socio-demographic characteristics, obstetric and health care service-related characteristics; and media exposure to get information regarding COVID-19 infection; (2) To assess sleep quality; the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was applied. And a global score of >5 indicates poor sleep quality, and a global score of ≤5 indicates good sleep quality.

Adolescent lives in Ethiopia: what are we learning from longitudinal evidence? Lessons from longitudinal research with adolescents
Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: March 2022

Ethiopia has made remarkable progress over the last two decades. The poverty rate has halved (from 46% to 24%), the primary completion rate has more than doubled (from 18% to 50%) and the odds of marriage for girls under the age of 15 have fallen to less than 1 in 10. However, alongside the covid-19 pandemic, the last two years have seen increasing ethnic and religious tension and violence, as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has struggled to deliver on promised political transformations. In Ethiopia GAGE has collected baseline and midline data with approximately 8,000 rural and urban adolescents in Afar, Amhara and Oromia regions as well as Dire Dawa City Administration; fielded two rounds of covid-19 phone surveys; and is running ongoing participatory research groups with older girls and boys (15–19 years). Nested within the Ethiopian study, GAGE is also carrying out an impact evaluation of the adolescent empowerment programme ‘Act With Her’ (AWH). This brief highlights headline emerging findings from this unique dataset, as well as providing links to more comprehensive publications and an annex with key quantitative indicators.

Assessment of maternal and child health care services performance in the context of COVID-19 pandemic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: evidence from routine service data

Senedu Bekele Gebreegziabher; Solomon Sisay Marrye; Tsegaye Hailu Kumssa (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Reproductive Health volume

In many settings, health care service provision has been modified to managing COVID-19 cases, and this has been affecting the provision of maternal and child health services. The aim of this study was to assess trends in selected maternal and child health services performance in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional data review was conducted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from April to May 2021. Routine health management information system database was reviewed from Addis Ababa Health Bureau for the period from July 2019 to March 2021 across all quarters. Proportion and mean with standard deviation were computed. T-test was used to assess statistically significant differences in services mean performance.

Knowledge, attitude, prevention practice, and associated factors toward COVID-19 among preparatory school students in Southwest Ethiopia, 2021

Mohammed Yesuf; Mehd Abdu

Published: January 2022   Journal: Plos One

As of February 2021 COVID-19 report in 57 African countries, there were 3,761,512 confirmed cases and 98,088 deaths. Ethiopia reported the highest number of cases in East Africa with a total of 147,092 cases and 2,194 deaths. Over 1.5 billion students from 195 countries across the world separated from school as a consequence of the closure of schools related to the pandemic. This study aimed to determine the level of knowledge, attitude, prevention practices, and determinant factors regarding COVID-19 among preparatory school students in southwest Ethiopia. An institution-based cross-sectional study design was used for 422 samples. Each respondent was selected using simple random sampling. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. The collected data were entered and analyzed using Statistical Package for social science software version 25.0. Multivariable binary logistic regression was used to identify factors that were significantly associated with the practice of COVID-19 prevention.

Health care providers’ awareness of breastfeeding practice recommendations during COVID-19 pandemic and associated factors in Northwest Ethiopia, 2021: a multicenter study

Azmeraw Ambachew Kebede; Birhan Tsegaw Taye; Kindu Yinges Wondie (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Plos One

Prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission to newborns is one of the basic components of perinatal care in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, scientific evidence is compulsory for evidence-based practices. However, there was a scarcity of evidence on health care providers’ awareness of breastfeeding practice recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia, particularly in the study setting. The study aimed at assessing healthcare providers’ awareness of breastfeeding practice recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated factors among healthcare providers in northwest Ethiopia, 2021.

Socio-emotional and academic learning before and after COVID-19 school closures: evidence from Ethiopia

Stephen Bayley; Darge Wole Meshesha; Paul Ramchandani (et al.)

Published: November 2021

This paper presents the findings of research undertaken in Ethiopia to examine the effects of COVID-19 school closures on children’s holistic learning, including both socio-emotional and academic learning. It draws on data collected in 2019 (prior to the pandemic) and 2021 (after schools reopened) to compare primary pupils’ learning before and after the school closures. In particular, the study adapts self-reporting scales that have been used in related contexts to measure Grade 3 and 6 children’s social skills, self-efficacy, emotional regulation, and mental health and wellbeing, along with literacy and numeracy. Lesson observations were also undertaken to explore teachers’ behaviours to foster socio-emotional learning (SEL) in the classroom.

Disrupted education trajectories: exploring the effects of Covid-19 on adolescent learning and priorities for “building back better” education systems in Ethiopia

Nicola Jones; Megan Devonald; Rebecca Dutton (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Development Policy Review

The Covid-19 pandemic delivered an unprecedented shock to education systems globally, with school closures affecting 1.6 billion children. Education systems in LMICs are facing significant budget cuts further constraining capacities to adapt to Covid-19 impacts. The need for evidence to inform policy dialogues about how best to mitigate impacts and support education systems to “build back better” is pressing. In Ethiopia, schools reopened in October 2020 after a 7-month pandemic-related closure. Employing an adapted resilience systems analysis framework, this article focuses on the extent to which Ethiopia’s education system—which has in recent decades seen rapid progress in enrolment rates—has adapted to the impacts of the pandemic on adolescents’ education and learning, and has achieved this equitably.

Predictors of pregnant women’s intention to vaccinate against coronavirus disease 2019: a facility-based cross-sectional study in southwest Ethiopia

Shewangizaw Hailemariam; Besufekad Mekonnen; Nigusie Shifera (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: SAGE Open Medicine
Ethiopia is planning to vaccinate 20% of its population against the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic by the end of 2021—however, there is no single piece of evidence regarding pregnant women’s intention to be vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019; hence, the objective of this study was to investigate predicting factors of intention to be vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 among pregnant women in Bench-Sheko Zone, southwest Ethiopia. Methods: Facility-based cross-sectional study was undertaken from 1 February to 1 March 2021 in southwest Ethiopia. The study was carried out among pregnant women who came for antenatal care service in the selected public health facilities. Interviewer-administered structured tool was used to collect the data. Data were entered into EpiData (version 3.1) and then analyzed using SPSS (version 20).
Knowledge, attitude and practice toward Corona virus infection among pregnant women attending antenatal care at public hospitals in three Wollega zones, Ethiopia

Merga Besho; Reta Tsegaye; Mekdes Tigistu Yilma (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: International Journal of General Medicine
Pregnancy is an immune-suppressed state which makes pregnant women generally more susceptible to COVID-19 infection and severe illness. Extensive precautions have been recommended to avoid exposure to the virus. Knowledge and attitude toward the disease play an integral role in readiness to accept public health measures. This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice towards COVID-19 among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in three Wollega zones, Ethiopia. Institution-based cross-sectional study was employed among 415 pregnant women attending antenatal care at public hospitals in three Wollega zones, Ethiopia from July to August 2020.
Psychological distress among Ethiopian pregnant women during COVID-19: negative correlation with self-efficacy

Aman Dule

Published: July 2021   Journal: Psychology Research and Behavior Management
Since the onset of coronavirus disease 2019, the mental health of individuals has been negatively affected, especially among vulnerable groups. The aim of this study was to explore the association of psychological distress with self-efficacy and other correlates among Ethiopian pregnant women. A cross-sectional study was carried out among 384 pregnant women from August 1 to 15, 2020. Pandemic-related psychological distress was measured by the Impact of Event Scale Revised (IES-R). Hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS), generalized self-efficacy scale (GSES), and fear of COVID-19 scale (FCoV-19S) were employed to examine independent variables.
COVID-19 impact on jobs at private schools and colleges in Northern Ethiopia

Adino Andaregie; Tessema Astatkie

Published: July 2021   Journal: International Journal of Educational Development
The disruptive effects of COVID-19 have impacted all sectors of our society including education. This study identified the factors influencing the private schools’ and colleges’ decision to reduce their teaching staff during the COVID-19 lockdown using survey data analyzed using Heckman two-step regression model. The results showed that age, accommodation level, hourly payment rate, tax grade level, money borrowed from government or banks, loan repayment suspension, tax payment deferral, the number of administrative employees, the student-to-administrative employee ratio, and the educational institution’s category were the significant factors affecting teaching employee reduction during the lockdown. The results of this study can help the various education sector stakeholders to take coordinated measures to withstand COVID-19 type of shocks.
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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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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.