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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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COVID-19's silver linings: exploring the impacts of work-family enrichment for married working mothers during and after the COVID-19 partial lockdown in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Kwaku Abrefa Busia; Francis Arthur-Holmes; Annie Hau Nung Chan

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Family Studies
Recent scholarship suggests that women have disproportionately been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic amidst lockdowns and school closures which have altogether increased women’s caregiving burden, unpaid housework and stress levels. Notwithstanding its negative impacts, this article argues that the lockdowns and school closures related to COVID-19 also had beneficial outcomes for some working mothers who had to combine work and family roles. Drawing from qualitative interviews with 39 married working mothers in both formal and informal employment, this study finds that these women during and after the partial lockdowns in urban Ghana, experienced various outcomes of work-to-family enrichment (increased time spent with family, self-rated improved sleep health, financial security), family-to-work enrichment (reduced family demands, improved work performance and output) and a mix of both (cultivation of life skills, greater personal satisfaction and happiness). Applying a role expansionist framework, the study shows the ‘positive side’ of the pandemic for married working mothers who had to juggle work and family demands.
Medium-term protective effects of quality early childhood education during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Sharon Wolf; Elisabetta Aurino; Noelle M. Suntheimer (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Child Development
The COVID-19 pandemic led to extended school closures globally. Access to remote learning opportunities during this time was vastly unequal within and across countries. Higher-quality early childhood education (ECE) can improve later academic outcomes, but longer-term effects during crises are unknown. This study provides the first experimental evidence of how previously attending a higher-quality ECE program affected child engagement in remote learning and academic scores during pandemic-related school closures in Ghana. Children (N = 1668; 50.1% male; Mage = 10.1 years; all Ghanaian nationals) who attended higher-quality ECE at age 4 or 5 years had greater engagement in remote learning (d = .14) in October 2020, but not better language and literacy and math scores. Previous exposure to higher-quality ECE may support educational engagement during crises.
Ensuring future resilience beyond ICT and online teaching and learning of social studies in Ghanaian senior high schools: lessons from COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
John Zengulaaru; Ernest Nyamekye (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Social Education Research
The emergence of COVID-19 has posed unprecedented challenges to every sphere of social life, including education. To mitigate the educational challenges, students and teachers were urged to adjust to online teaching and learning. This spurred a slew of studies into ICT and online teaching and learning. However, studies had given little attention to resilient mechanisms beyond ICT and online teaching and learning, particularly, in Social Studies. This study, therefore, purported to elicit the challenges encountered by students and teachers in the teaching and learning of Social Studies during the COVID-19 school closures. It also sought to identify holistic resilient approaches to withstand future unforeseen contingencies. An explanatory sequential mixed method design was employed in this study. Overall, 300 form three students of senior high school and 15 Social Studies teachers participated in this study. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS Version 20. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data.
Children's lives in an era of school closures: exploring the implications of COVID-19 for child labour in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Abdul-Rahim Mohammed

Published: July 2022   Journal: Children & Society
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Subsequently, governments worldwide implemented strict regimes of lockdowns and school closures to contain the transmission of the virus. Ghana's government on 15 March 2020 also announced a lockdown and closure of schools, lasting up till January 2021. Against this backdrop, the paper examined the implications of school closures on child labour in Ghana. Qualitative data for the study were collected between October 2020 to February 2021 in a small rural community in northern Ghana.
Data disaggregation for inclusive quality education in emergencies: the COVID-19 experience in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Sayibu Abdul Badi

Published: June 2022   Journal: The Journal on Education in Emergencies
The process of data analysis provides, undoubtedly, some of the major challenges facing organizations during the implementation of interventions in emergencies. The challenges are primarily due to the lack of direct access to beneficiaries and the rapidly evolving nature of emergencies. This paper outlines how Plan International’s Making Ghanaian Girls Great! (MGCubed) project used phone-based surveys to assess the uptake of a Ghana Learning TV (GLTV) programme implemented in partnership with the government. Due to the emergency context and the need for real-time information to guide the implementation of this intervention, there was little time to undertake a major statistical analysis of survey data. This paper discusses how the MGCubed project adopted a simple data disaggregation method using a logic tree technique to gain valuable insights from the survey data. The method allowed for exploring the insights of the data set in real-time without requiring more complex and time-consuming analysis.
Towards prevention of COVID‐19 among children in Ghana: parents’ views about children wearing nose masks in public gatherings

AUTHOR(S)
Fred Yao Gbagbo; Rosemary Quarcoo

Published: June 2022   Journal: Public Health in Practice

The authors examined parents’ views about children nose-masking in public gatherings in Ghana between January and May 2021. This is exploratory sequential mixed methods study comprising qualitative and quantitative components. Four hundred and thirty-nine parents were interviewed using author-developed structured questionnaires and interview guides in a public University in Ghana. Ten respondents in the company of at least three children and of high academic status were further interviewed in-depth to obtain some qualitative information on the research topic. All interviews were conducted in English. Quantitative data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20 whiles qualitative data were analyzed thematically.

Beyond the COVID-19 vaccine: the "epidemic" of violence in Ghana and strategies to keep women and children safe from gender-based violence

AUTHOR(S)
Albert Apotele Nyaaba; Edward Kwabena Ameyaw; Matthew Ayamga

Published: May 2022   Journal: International Journal of Translational Medical Research and Public Health
Although the tides of the Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are turning in some parts of the world, the pandemic has exacerbated abusive behavior towards women and children. In Ghana, West Africa, women and children stand a greater chance of experiencing aggravated levels of violence due to cultural considerations. In this commentary, we searched for papers using the keywords “(COVID-19) AND (violence) AND (women and children)” with refining limited to 01-01-2020 to 31-12-2020 on PubMed, Google Scholar, and other websites. A total of 17 and 20 papers from PubMed and other sources, respectively, were included. We found that violence against women and children has worsened in Ghana during the COVID-19 period. The findings call for the need to enhance or build women’s capacity to identify violence, enhance their exposure to available avenues of assistance, and resist the impunity of culprits. Also, the government should strengthen and adequately provide resources for human rights organizations mandated to protect the rights of women and children.
The magnitude of hidden hunger and cognitive deficits of children living in some selected orphanages in Kumasi, Ghana during the COVID pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Mary Asamoah; Marina Tandoh

Published: May 2022   Journal: The FASEB Journal

Many studies have assessed the magnitude of mixed micronutrient deficiencies or individual micronutrient deficiencies among children under 5 years, women of reproductive age (15- 49 years old) and pregnant women. This has led to various interventions for these population groups including supplementations, fortifications etc. However, the same attention has not been given to vulnerable children living in various orphanages, especially in Children’s Homes in Ghana where much is not known about their nutritional status. Socio- economic downturns like that induced by the current coronavirus pandemic affects food security and nutrition, thus the nutritional status of this vulnerable population could potentially be worsened. This study assessed the magnitude of hidden hunger and cognitive deficits of 130 children (6- 13 years old) living in three selected orphanages in Kumasi, Ghana.

Impact of Covid-19 on maternal health seeking in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Patrick Opoku Asuming; Deborah Aba Gaisie; Caesar Agula (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Journal of International Development
The Covid-19 pandemic is widely speculated to have disrupted the delivery of primary health care in low-income countries. Yet, there is little rigorous empirical research identifying this effect. This paper estimates the impact of Covid-19 on facility and skilled delivery and utilisation of antenatal care (ANC) services by comparing these outcomes for women who were pregnant/delivered before and during the Covid-19 period. The results show that Covid-19 led to 23% and 25% reductions, respectively, in the likelihood of facility delivery and four or more ANC visits during pregnancy. These findings highlight the need to build more resilient health systems in low-income settings.
Covid-19 and school closure: examining the impact on private mid-range and low-fee private basic schools in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Lordina Juvenile Ehwi; Richmond Juvenile Ehwi

Published: December 2021   Journal: Prospects
The Covid-19 lockdown implemented globally to prevent the spread of the virus has led to the closure of schools. However, insight into the impact of the lockdown on private schools and the responses it has elicited is limited, especially across the African continent. This article examines the impact of the lockdown on private basic schools in Ghana and how they responded to the closure. Following “organizational ambidexterity” and qualitative interviews with nine proprietors of private schools in Ghana, the study found that the schools’ closure had a negative impact on private basic schools in five crucial ways: disruption to teaching and learning, difficulty in retrieving unpaid teaching fees, inability to pay staff salaries and statutory payments, underutilization of existing assets, and the cost of storing unused stock. The article offers suggestions to the government to support private schools that are broadening educational access at thin profit margins.
Decline in uptake of childhood vaccinations in a tertiary hospital in Northern Ghana during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kingsley Appiah Bimpong; Benjamin Demah Nuertey; Anwar Sadat Seidu (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: BioMed Research International
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, early modelling studies estimated a reduction in childhood vaccinations in low- and middle-income countries. Regular provision of both curative and preventive services such as antenatal care and childhood immunizations has been negatively affected since the onset of the pandemic. This study was aimed at examining the impact that the pandemic had on childhood vaccination services at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH). A mixed methods study design was employed for the study, which was conducted at the Child Welfare Clinic (CWC) of the TTH.
‘I don’t think anyone thinks of us’: experiences of teenage head porters amidst COVID-19 in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Crispin Rakibu Mbamba; Ignatus Kpobi Ndemole; Madinatu Sarah Hassan (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies
In Ghana, a population of teenage head porters have made the streets their sole living and breathing space. They are faced with several challenges as they live and work on the streets. The era of COVID-19 amidst several safety protocols that should be followed including maintaining physical and social distance as well as reducing movements appears to be detrimental to the survival patterns of teenager head porters as they live and work on the streets. Consequently, the study explores the experiences of teenage head porters in the wake of the pandemic to draw practice implications. Evidence was collected using semi-structured qualitative interviews with 20 teenage head porters in Kumasi, Ghana. Narratives were analyzed thematically using reflective thematic analysis procedures. The study identified Kinship neglect and high exposure to infection as over-arching challenges experienced by teenage head porters on the streets amidst COVID-19.
COVID-19 in Ghana: challenges and countermeasures for maternal health service delivery in public health facilities

AUTHOR(S)
Faith Agbozo; Albrecht Jahn

Published: July 2021   Journal: Reproductive Health
This study provides a situational update on COVID-19 in Ghana, the seventh African country reporting the most cases. Some modifications occurring within the health system to curtail the outbreak and its potential impact on the delivery of antenatal care services are also highlighted. With the discovery of the Delta variant in Ghana, the current attention is to prevent a third wave of infection, and also control and manage existing cases. Efforts to procure vaccines, vaccinate special populations and sensitize the public on the implications of vaccine hesitancy are ongoing.
Knowledge and preventive practices towards COVID-19 among pregnant women seeking antenatal services in Northern Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Maxwell Tii Kumbeni; Paschal Awingura Apanga; Eugene Osei Yeboah (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Plos One
COVID-19 is a novel respiratory disease associated with severe morbidity and high mortality in the elderly population and people with comorbidities. Studies have suggested that pregnant women are more susceptible to COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant women. However, it’s unclear whether pregnant women in Ghana are knowledgeable about COVID-19 and practice preventive measures against it. This study sought to assess the knowledge and preventive practices towards COVID-19 among pregnant women seeking antenatal services in Northern Ghana
Decrease in admissions and change in the diagnostic landscape in a newborn care unit in Northern Ghana during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Alhassan Abdul-Mumin; Cesia Cotache-Condor; Kingsley Appiah Bimpong (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Pediatrics
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has spread worldwide with an increasing number of patients, including pregnant women and neonates. This study aims to evaluate morbidity and mortality in the COVID-19 era compared to the preceding year in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Tamale Teaching Hospital, Ghana. This is a cross-sectional study carried out on neonates admitted to NICU between March 1st to August 31st, 2019 (pre-COVID-19 era) and March 1st to August 31st, 2020 (COVID-19 era). Multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify predictors of mortality for both periods.
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Each quarterly thematic digest features the latest evidence drawn from the Children and COVID-19 Research Library on a particular topic of interest.
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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.