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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The impact of prior knowledge on adolescents' sexual and reproductive health behavior amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: the case of Kakamega County, Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
S. Ooko; A. Okoth; F. Njeru (et al.)

Published: September 2022

Adolescents (aged between 10 and 19 years) go through significant physical, physiological, and psychosocial changes from childhood to adulthood during this period. There are indications that during the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescents experienced a myriad of challenges as reported by various forms of media. These challenges included teenage pregnancies/ motherhood and early marriages amongst girls, drug and substance abuse, and other social deviancies that came with devastating consequences, notably a surge in school dropout, which shuttered their dreams for a better future. During the outreach activities by the African Women in Science and Engineering (AWSE), MMUST chapter, a gap for research in the realm of Sexual and Reproductive Health of adolescents was established, necessitating this study. The objective guided the study: To establish how prior Knowledge on Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) shaped their behavior in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The study adopted a Mixed Methods Research (MMR) approach, drawing on the strengths of both quantitative and qualitative paradigms, with a sample of 340 adolescents.

Maintaining continuity of care for expectant mothers in Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic: a study of MomCare

AUTHOR(S)
Teresa De Sanctis; Mary-Ann Etiebet; Wendy Janssens (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Global Health: Science and Practice
In Kenya, early coronavirus disease (COVID-19) modeling studies predicted that disruptions in antenatal care and hospital services could increase indirect maternal and neonatal deaths and stillbirths. As the Kenyan government enforced lockdowns and a curfew, many mothers-to-be were unable to safely reach hospital facilities, especially at night. Fear of contracting COVID-19, increasing costs of accessing care, stigma, and falling incomes forced many expectant mothers to give birth at home. MomCare, which primarily serves communities in remote areas and urban slums, links mothers-to-be with payers and health care providers, following a standardized pregnancy program based on World Health Organization guidelines at a predetermined cost and quality. Expectant mothers gain access to care through a mobile wallet on their feature phone (voice, text, and basic internet), and providers are paid after appropriate care is given. Within the first 3 weeks of the pandemic in Kenya, the following services were added to the MomCare bundle: emergency ambulance services during curfew hours, extended bed allowances to encourage early care, phone calls to check on mothers approaching their delivery dates and to promote the generation of a birth plan, SMS messages to inform mothers of open facilities and COVID-19 protocols, and training for clinic staff in managing COVID-19 patients and infection prevention. We compare data collected through the MomCare platform during the 6 months before the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Kenya (September 2019–February 2020) with data collected during the 6 months that followed. This study shows that care-seeking behaviors (enrollment, antenatal/postnatal care, skilled deliveries) increased for mothers-to-be enrolled in MomCare during the COVID-19 lockdowns, while quality of care and outcomes were maintained. Public health practitioners can promote interactive, patient-driven technology like MomCare to augment traditional responses, quickly linking payments with patients and providers in times of crisis.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 10 | Issue: 4 | No. of pages: 12 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: COVID-19 response, lockdown, maternal and child health services, pregnancy, pregnant women, social distance | Countries: Kenya
The biopsychosocial impact and syndemic effect of COVID-19 on youth living with HIV in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Tiffany Chenneville; Kemesha Gabbidon; Bharat Bharat

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
COVID-19's rapid emergence as a biological and psychosocial threat has affected people globally. The purpose of this qualitative study, which was guided by syndemic theory and the biopsychosocial framework, was to examine the impact of COVID-19 on youth living with HIV (YLWH) in Kenya. Seven virtual focus groups and two in-depth interviews were conducted with 15 YLWH aged 18-24, 13 youth affected by HIV aged 18-24, and 12 HIV healthcare providers living in Nakuru and Eldoret, two of Kenya's largest cities. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis, which was guided by a descriptive phenomenological approach.
Experiences with antenatal care, breastfeeding education, and employment during the COVID-19 pandemic: perspectives from mothers and healthcare workers in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Scott Ickes; Hellen Lemein; Kelly Arensen (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Current Developments in Nutrition

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on breastfeeding practices in low and middle-income countries is not well understood. Modifications in breastfeeding guidelines and delivery platforms for breastfeeding education are hypothesized to have affected breastfeeding practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to understand the experiences with perinatal care, breastfeeding education and practice among mothers who delivered infants during the COVID-19 pandemic. It conducted key informant interviews among 35 mothers with deliveries since March 2020 and 10 healthcare workers (HCW) from two public health facilities in Naivasha, Kenya.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 6 | Issue: Supplement 1 | No. of pages: 1 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: breastfeeding, COVID-19, infectious disease, maternal and child health, pandemic, pregnancy, pregnant women | Countries: Kenya
Remaining hopeful during the COVID-19 pandemic: the role of NGOs in filling the social support gap for vulnerable children

AUTHOR(S)
Sijeong Lim; Chungshik Moon; Youngwan Kim

Published: May 2022   Journal: Youth & Society
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative effect on children’s mental health worldwide. Existing studies suggest that children with greater levels of hope are more likely to be resilient in the face of disaster. While social support at the family and community level is proposed as an important factor in sustaining and fostering hope, the children of underprivileged households in developing countries tend to lack this support. This study investigates whether development projects run by international NGOs are able to fill this gap and help children to remain hopeful during the pandemic. Using original survey data from 834 children in adolescence (aged between 10 and 18) in Kenya and Zambia, it shows that children participating in Good Neighbors’ child sponsorship programs and community development projects exhibit higher scores on the Children’s Hope Scale than do non-participating children. These projects appear to foster hope by providing emotional and informational support.
The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for children in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Emma Cameron; Antonia Delius; Amanda Devercelli (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: April 2022
Based on survey data for more than 5,000 Kenyan households, this study shows that, despite government efforts to introduce remote learning options, access to education declined markedly during a nine-month-long period of school closures. Remote learning was adopted by only a small minority of students, and disadvantaged children fell further behind. During the first semester of 2021, reports of alterations in children’s externalizing and internalizing behavior more than tripled, with one in five children being affected by June 2021. After schools reopened, children learning remotely or through alternative means were more likely to suffer from these disruptions in emotional well-being than those who returned to school. While the medium- and long-term effects on learning outcomes and human capital remain unknown, the findings suggest that girls and children from poorer and less educated households have been disproportionately affected.
Lessons from online learning during Covid-19 pandemic for building education resilience in secondary schools in Kenya: a case study

AUTHOR(S)
Florence Kisirkoi; Angela Kamanga

Published: March 2022   Journal: International Journal of Educational Policy Research and Review

Online learning was the preferred avenue to sustain learning during the COVID - 19 pandemic when all learning institutions closed globally. Lessons learnt could be used to build education resilience in times of education disruptions in Kenya. A case study of two public secondary schools was conducted anchored on connectivism theory and Technological Pedagogic Content Knowledge. The participants were 15 teachers and 154 form four candidates from two secondary schools, purposively selected as the candidate classes. The objectives were to find out: the technology devices used by teachers and students to learn; whether the teachers and the students had knowledge, skills and attitudes to engage in online learning; how teachers and students acquired knowledge and skills to use the technology devices and whether there were any interventions provided to support them. A questionnaire for teachers and another for students collected quantitative and qualitative data which was analysed and established that few students managed to engage in online learning without adequate support and other technology devices were used for learning.

‘We are not going anywhere’: a qualitative study of Kenyan healthcare worker perspectives on adolescent HIV care engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Leslie A. Enane; Edith Apondi; Claire Liepmann (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: BMJ Open

Adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) may be vulnerable to widescale impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to health system responses which impact HIV care. This study assessed healthcare worker (HCW) perspectives on impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent HIV care delivery and engagement in western Kenya. It performed in-depth qualitative interviews with HCW at 10 clinical sites in the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare in Kenya, from January to March, 2021. Semistructured interviews ascertained pandemic-related impacts on adolescent HIV care delivery and retention.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 12 | Issue: 3 | No. of pages: 12 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: adolescent health, COVID-19 response, health care, health services, HIV and AIDS, lockdown, social distance | Countries: Kenya
Gendered effects of COVID-19 school closures: Kenya case study
Institution: Population Council
Published: March 2022
In Kenya, COVID-19 school closures escalated education inequalities especially for girls and young people in rural areas. These closures exacerbated adolescent mental health issues, food and economic insecurity, and experiences of violence. COVID-19 response programs implemented by both the Government of Kenya and non-state actors were not able to fully mitigate the impacts of school closures for adolescents, teachers, or schools. Continued efforts to understand the implications of school closures and to support vulnerable students are needed.
The Kenya Ministry of education’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic: case study

AUTHOR(S)
Loise Gichuhi; Jane Kalista

Institution: UNESCO
Published: March 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprec-edented    disruption    to    social,    economic,    and cultural life worldwide. In Kenya, when schools  and  universities  closed  in  March 2020,  nearly  18  million  Kenyan  learners were  affected,  putting  at  stake  not  only  the  considerable  economic,  social,  and  political  gains  experienced  by  the  country  over  the  past decade, but also the significant commit-ment the Government has made to providing inclusive, quality education. This  analysis  aims  to  provide  policy  recom-mendations  to  strengthen  the  leadership  of  ministries of education (MoEs) and collabo-ration  with  partners  to  continue  to  provide  quality education in crisis situations. It seeks to shed light on this central question: What facilitates  government  leadership  in  crisis  and  risk  management  in  education  and  how  can  humanitarian  and  development  actors  more  effectively  support  the  Ministry  of Education in Kenya to lead effective educa-tion service delivery during crises?

Balancing work and childcare: evidence from COVID-19 school closures and reopenings in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Pierre E. Biscaye; Dennis Egger; Utz J. Pape

Institution: The World Bank
Published: March 2022
This paper identifies the impact of childcare responsibilities on adult labor supply in the context of COVID-19-related school closures in Kenya. It compares changes in parents’ labor participation after schools partly reopened in October 2020 for households with children in a grade eligible to return against households with children in adjacent grades. Using nationally-representative panel data from World Bank phone surveys in 2020–21, the findings show that the partial reopening increases affected adults’ weekly labor hours by 22 percent, with increases concentrated in household agriculture. The results suggest that school closures account for over 30 percent of the fall in average work hours in the first few months after COVID-19 cases were detected. The effects are driven by changes in household childcare burdens and child agricultural labor when a student returns to school. The impacts are not significantly different by sex of the adult. Although both women and men increased hours spent on childcare during the pandemic, women benefited more than men from reductions in childcare needs, but took on more of the childcare burden when the returning student was a net childcare provider. The results highlight the importance of siblings in household childcare and suggest that policies that increase childcare availability and affordability could increase adult labor supply in Kenya.
Gender-based violence during COVID-19 among adolescent girls and young women in Nairobi, Kenya: a mixed-methods prospective study over 18 months

AUTHOR(S)
Michele R. Decker; Kristin Bevilacqua; Shannon N. Wood (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: BMJ Global Health

Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) disproportionately experience gender-based violence (GBV), which can increase during emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic. A cohort of youth ages 15–24 in Nairobi, Kenya was surveyed at three time points over an 18-month period prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic: June–August 2019 (prepandemic), August–October 2020 (12-month follow-up) and May 2021 (18-month follow-up). This study characterised (1) prevalence, relative timing and help-seeking for leading forms of GBV, (2) GBV trajectories over 18 months and (3) associations of individual, dyad and COVID-related factors on GBV trajectories among AGYW (n=612) in Nairobi, Kenya. Virtual focus group discussions (n=12) and interviews (n=40) contextualise quantitative results.

Leveraging data and partnerships: strengthening girls' education in emergencies with WROs
Institution: Equal Measures 2030
Published: January 2022

For girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, education can be a ladder out of poverty and a way to break cycles of abuse and violence. Yet, there are still steep gender-related barriers to a quality and safe education such as gender-based violence, discrimination, child and forced marriage, lack of access to healthcare and menstrual hygiene products, unpaid domestic labour, and the prioritization of boys’ education. Even girls who do access education face a range of challenges, including poor quality facilities, large class sizes, and a lack of qualified female teachers and staff. For girls in fragile and conflict-affected areas, the threats can include kidnapping, injury, forced recruitment, and displacement. With the COVID-19 pandemic, those challenges have only increased. There are several stakeholders working to reduce these barriers and make sure that girls who must access their education in emergency situations can do so safely and effectively. They are also trying to make sure that the education available is of high quality and sensitive to their unique needs. In 2021, the Government of Canada supported a partnership with Equal Measures 2030 and its in-country partners FAWE and IPBF, based in Kenya and Burkina Faso, respectively, to look at how to strengthen the equitable and coordinated provision of education for girls and women in both countries. The result was research and advocacy that aimed to make the education systems of both countries more data-driven and gender-responsive. This report details the experiences, findings, and recommendations encapsulated in our work.

Social stigma related to COVID-19 disease described by primary and secondary school teachers and adolescents living with HIV in Western Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Ashley Chory; Winstone Nyandiko; Celestine Ashimosi (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health

Understanding community members' knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus and the prevalence of associated stigma are critical steps for increasing accurate public health knowledge, encouraging uptake of preventative or mitigating health behaviors, and ultimately bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. This study conducted a one-time, phone-based assessment to assess the presence of perceived COVID-19 community stigma reported by Kenyan primary and secondary school teachers, as well as adolescents living with HIV. Participants were previously enrolled in an ongoing, cluster-randomized trial to evaluate the impact of multi-media teacher training on teachers' negative attitudes and beliefs around HIV. The SAFI Stigma Questionnaire, a validated tool to assess HIV-related stigma in this setting, was adapted to ask questions regarding the stigma and discrimination experienced or perceived during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advancing girls’ education in light of COVID-19 in East Africa: a synthesis report
Institution: Population Council
Published: November 2021
Over a billion students around the world have been affected by school closures in the past year and a half (March 2020 to August 2021) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The persistence of the pandemic and the severity of the risks posed by the disruption of education necessitate a strong understanding of the present state of girls’ education in East Africa. This study aimed to understand the current problems posed by COVID-19 for girls’ education in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda; identify the gaps in understanding with regard to these problems; and illuminate solutions. The study is based on a rapid desk review of peer-review and grey literature, coupled with nearly 30 key informant interviews with a range of East African organizations working on education and/or gender issues. These methods were complemented by an interactive, participatory workshop during which interviewees and other education stakeholders validated and supplemented the initial study results. Key findings from the study are summarized below
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