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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Trajectories of child growth, child development, and home child-rearing quality during the Covid pandemic in rural Nepal

Laurie C. Miller; Sumanta Neupane; Neena Joshi (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Child: Care, Health and Development

Children, especially disadvantaged children in poor countries, were expected to be among the “biggest victims” of the Covid pandemic. Economic burdens, decreased nutritious foods, reduced medical care, school closures, and ill-health or death of family members were predicted to increase child undernutrition and developmental delays, and diminish home child-rearing quality. A planned nutrition intervention could not be implemented due to Covid restrictions. However, three surveys (pre-Covid [December 2019], July 2021, and September 2021) in 280 Nepali households (309 parent-dyads, 368 children, 6–66 months old) collected demographics, child anthropometry and development (Ages and Stages Questionnaire-3 [ASQ-3]), and home child-rearing quality (caregiver engagement, learning resources, adult supervision [UNICEF's Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey]). Mixed-effect regression models adjusted for household (wealth, maternal education) and child factors (age, gender) and survey round.

Water, sanitation, hygiene practices, health and nutritional status among children before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: longitudinal evidence from remote areas of Dailekh and Achham districts in Nepal

Akina Shrestha; Bal Mukunda Kunwar; Regula Meierhofer

Published: November 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic drew hygiene to the center of disease prevention. The provision of adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services is crucial to protect public health during a pandemic. Yet, access to levels of water supply that support adequate hygiene measures are deficient in many areas in Nepal. We examined WASH practices and their impact on child health and nutritional status in two districts before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. A longitudinal and mixed method study was conducted in March–May 2018 and November–December 2021. In total, 715 children aged 0–10 years were surveyed at baseline. Of these, 490 children were assessed at endline. Data collection methods included observations, a questionnaire, stool analysis, anthropometric measurements, water quality analysis, and an assessment of clinical signs of nutritional deficiencies. We conducted 10 in-depth interviews to understand major problems related to COVID-19.

Screen time and its correlates among children aged 3–10 years during COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal: a community-based cross-sectional study

Rajan Shrestha; Bijay Khatri; Sangita Majhi (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: BMJ Open Ophthalmology

This study aims to determine the prevalence of high screen time among schoolchildren aged 3–10 years in Bhaktapur, its correlates and the parents’ strategies to reduce screen time during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal. This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted during March 2021. A total of 630 households were selected for the study from 21 randomly selected clusters in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Correlates of high screen time were determined using a logistic model. P<0.002 was taken as significant.

Parents' view on online education during Covid-19 pandemic in Nepal: narrative analysis

Saraswati Basnet; Hom Bahadur Basnet; Dilip Kumar Bhattarai

Published: August 2022   Journal: Bouddhik Abhiyan
Nearly 77 million children, has taken away their classrooms for the past 18 months in the pandemic. School children worldwide have lost 1.8 trillion hours and counting of in-person learning due to COVID-19 lockdowns. At least 1 in 3 school children had no access to remote learning during school closures. Narrative review of Analysis was prepared by using secondary data of the all international and national published journal, report and articles. The narrative review analysis was done only on; a) English language b) involved sample of at least 10 subjects and diverse research design were eligible.
Nutritional and immunisation status of children visiting hospital during COVID-19 pandemic in Kathmandu, Nepal

Pawana Kayastha; Vijaya Kumar Chikanbanjar; Rajesh Kumar Panday (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Kathmandu Medical College
The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID -19) outbreak and lockdown measures have given challenges related to food production, food supply chain, indulgence in low healthy processed food, lack of public transportation, difficulties in accessing emergency and regular health services. Nepal already has high burden of child mortality (39 deaths per 1000 live births) and this pandemic situation has put children at greater risk of facing hunger, malnutrition, lack of routine immunisation, communicable disease outbreak, and many more psychological as well as physical health issues. This study identifies nutritional status and gap in routine vaccination in children during COVID-19 pandemic thereby help in modelling action plan to prevent an outpouring in malnutrition and vaccine preventable infections in children.
Mapping of reintegration services in Nepal
Published: May 2022

International labour migration has become a crucial part of the Nepali society. The number of youths leaving the country for employment is significantly high, with around half a million people taking labour permits every year. Lack of economic opportunities within the country is cited as one of the major reasons for seeking foreign employment. The government has planned to create employment opportunities in the country so that international labour migration can become a choice than compulsion. COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Nepali migrant workers, who have been key contributors to the socioeconomic development of Nepal. During the migration cycle and upon return, migrant workers continue to face vulnerabilities and challenges to fully reintegrate back in their home communities due to their migration experiences. This study attempts to map the services that are available and directly or indirectly contribute to sustainable reintegration of returnee migrant workers. The research has identified good practices, gaps, challenges and has recommended a way ahead that can be a departure point for addressing the gaps surfaced for a sustainable reintegration.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on daily life and worry among mothers in Bhaktapur, Nepal

Suman Ranjitkar; Tor A. Strand; Manjeswori Ulak (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Plos Global Public Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of daily life worldwide, but the impact may be higher for impoverished populations. The main aim of this study is to describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on different aspects of daily life in mothers in Nepal. It included 493 mothers of children aged 54–71 months participating in a randomized controlled trial on vitamin B12 supplementation. Mothers answered questions regarding the exposure and impact of the pandemic on their daily lives, and pandemic-related worries and sleep problems.
Association between early initiation of breastfeeding and reduced risk of respiratory infection: implications for nonseparation of infant and mother in the COVID-19 context

Bindi Borg; Karleen Gribble; Karan Courtney-Haag (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Maternal & child nutrition
Early initiation of breastfeeding, within 1 h of birth, is vital for the health of newborns and reduces morbidity and mortality. Secondary analysis of the 2016 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) showed that early initiation of breastfeeding significantly reduced the risk of acute respiratory infection (ARI) in children under 2 years. Early initiation of breastfeeding requires maternal proximity. Separation of infant and mother inhibits early initiation of breastfeeding and increases the risk that infants will suffer from ARIs. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, guidance varied, with some recommending that infants and mothers with SARS-CoV-2 be isolated from one another. Nepal's Ministry of Health and Population recommended nonseparation, but the adherence to this guidance was inconsistent. Maternal proximity, nonseparation and early initiation of breastfeeding should be promoted in all birthing facilities.
The little jab book: a playbook for COVID-19 vaccination in Nepal
Institution: Save the Children
Published: January 2022

Inspired by The Little Jab Book, this playbook uncovers underlying reasons for vaccine hesitancy in Nepal and includes localized, behavioral science-informed solutions to increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccines. The Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, Common Thread, Save the Children Nepal, and Save the Children’s Center for Utilizing Behavioral Insights for Children (CUBIC) collaborated to conduct quantitative and qualitative research in Province 2 to uncover barriers and enablers to vaccination, and then co-created potential solutions with local and national stakeholders; this research project resulted in 9 behavioral science interventions for parents and health workers in Nepal.

Impact of the first phase of COVID-19 pandemic on childhood routine immunisation services in Nepal: a qualitative study on the perspectives of service providers and users

Asmita Priyadarshini Khatiwada; Smriti Maskey; Nistha Shrestha (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected all essential healthcare services delivery in low-resource settings. This study aimed to explore the challenges and experiences of providers and users of childhood immunisation services in Nepal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with childhood immunisation service providers and users (i.e., parents of children) from Kathmandu valley, Nepal. All interviews were conducted through phone or internet-based tools, such as Zoom, WhatsApp, and messenger. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using theme-based content analysis in an Excel spreadsheet.

The effects of covid-19 on the lives of adolescent girls and young women in the adult entertainment sector in Nepal

Anita Ghimire; Sharmila Mainali; Fiona Samuels (et al.)

Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: September 2021
As is the case globally, lives and livelihoods in Nepal have been heavily impacted by covid-19. This report discusses the impact of covid-19 and the measures taken to address it on adolescent girls and women working in the adult entertainment sector. It focuses on covid-19’s effects on food security, shelter, health and employment for girls working in this sector. It also explores coping mechanisms and ends by recommending measures and policies that could be adopted during and after the pandemic to support the livelihoods and broader well-being of women and girls working in this sector.
Education system of Nepal: impacts and future perspectives of COVID-19 pandemic

Khadka Bahadur Pal; Buddha Bahadur Basnet; Ramesh Raj Pant (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Heliyon
The academic sectors are badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic globally. The studies regarding the implications of COVID-19 in education in Nepal were minimal, thus, this paper aims to highlight the impacts of the pandemic on the education sector of Nepal. It is revealed that the Nepalese academia has been facing problems due to lack of adequate and appropriate sustainable infrastructure for the online system, including skilled human resources. In addition, limited internet facilities in remote and rural areas were the other challenging tasks for virtual academic activities. Therefore, the concerned stakeholders should provide necessary services and appropriate strategies for virtual means of the education system to compensate the repercussion caused by the pandemic. This study could be helpful to identify the critical needs emerged due to the pandemic at present and in future and also contribute to adopt appropriate policy for the revival of educational institutions.
My new normal: qualitative study on childhood under school closure

Chloe Maillard

Institution: Save the Children, Key Aid Consulting
Published: September 2021
My New Normal is a small qualitative study in Nepal and Zambia, that explores the impact on children’s lives under COVID-19 restrictions, particularly school closures. The study was commissioned and supported by Save the Children Sponsorship programs and led by Key Aid Consulting. It employs a range of methods, such as PhotoVoice, empathy mapping, emoji charts, and daily routine analyses, to give children a voice and opportunity to tell their story. The results have been used to support national advocacy campaigns, and have been disseminated in accessible ways back to the participating children and communities.
Remote learning : evidence from Nepal during COVID-19

Karthika Radhakrishnan; Shwetlena Sabarwal; Uttam Sharma

Institution: The World Bank
Published: July 2021
This note discusses early results from a distance education program on foundational numeracy for primary school students in Nepal during Coronavirus (COVID-19) evaluated in a randomized trial. The trial included 3,700 households with children in public school (grades 3-5). It provided support for foundational numeracy through mobile phone-based tutoring. The trial tested delivery through public school teachers and also through NGO facilitators. It led to a 30 percent increase in foundational numeracy, with teachers being slightly more effective at producing learning gains than NGO facilitators. These results suggest that instructional support through mobile phones can be a high-access and low-cost approach to providing instruction at scale.
Continuing learning for the most vulnerable during COVID-19: Lessons from Let Us Learn in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal

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.

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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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