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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 36
Adaptation and resilience: lessons learned from implementing a combination health and education intervention for adolescent girls and young women in South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Zoe Duby; Brittany Bunce; Chantal Fowler (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Health Services
The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with reduced access to health services and worsening health outcomes for HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Through the analysis of data from an evaluation study of a combination intervention for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in South Africa, this study sought to examine the way in which implementation and service provision were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions, describing the adaptation implementers made to respond to this context. The intervention was implemented from 2019 in South African districts identified as high priority, given the high rates of HIV and teenage pregnancy amongst AGYW.
Health information and education needs for youth with complex communication needs during the Covid-19 pandemic: rehabilitation professionals’ perspectives

AUTHOR(S)
Kerstin Monika Tönsing; Shakila Dada; Kirsty Bastable (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Disability and Rehabilitation

The worldwide Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted inequities faced by persons with complex communication needs (CCN) in accessing health information and education. This study reports on the perspectives of South African rehabilitation professionals regarding access to health information and education for youth with CCN. Two asynchronous online written focus groups were conducted with 15 rehabilitation professionals. Participants’ contributions were thematically analysed.

Two years after lockdown: reviewing the effects of COVID-19 on health services and support for adolescents living with HIV in South Africa.

AUTHOR(S)
Quintinvan Staden; Christina A. Laurenzi; Elona Toska

Published: April 2022   Journal: The Journal of the International AIDS Society

South Africa’s progress towards the 95-95-95 goals has been significantly slower among adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV), among whom antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, retention in care and viral suppression remain a concern. After 2 years of living with COVID-19, it is important to examine the direct and indirect effect s of the pandemic on healthcare resources, access to HIV services and availability of support structures, to assess their impact on HIV care for ALHIV.

Life under lockdown for children with autism spectrum disorder: insights from families in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Skye Nandi Adams; Jaishika Seedat; Joanne Neille

Published: March 2022   Journal: Child

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) remain vulnerable during the Covid-19 outbreak due to significant changes to their daily routines, social interactions and diets. In addition, these challenges may be exacerbated for children living in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) such as South Africa where there are already barriers such as poverty, access to resources and availability of support. Understanding the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on children with ASD is imperative in order to create awareness as well as provide equitable services and support to both children with ASD and their families. This study aimed to explore family-reported changes for children with ASD and their reactions and responses to the Covid-19 restrictions in South Africa.

Transforming teaching and learning in early childhood care and education during COVID-19 in a poor community of the Cape Flats, South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Naseema Shaik

Published: March 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
This case study explored the dilemmas of three early childhood care and education (ECCE) teachers in a poor community in the Cape Flats of Cape Town, South Africa during COVID-19, and how they used these dilemmas to transform their teaching. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants and data was collected through a semi-structured interview and thematically analyzed. Ethical clearance was secured from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Mezirow’s transformative learning theory was used as an analytical framework for the study. In particular, Mezirow’s concept of disorienting dilemmas was used to engage with the dilemmas the ECCE teachers were confronted with during the pandemic.
Intersections between COVID-19 and socio-economic mental health stressors in the lives of South African adolescent girls and young women

AUTHOR(S)
Zoe Duby; Brittany Bunce; Chantal Fowler (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
In contexts where poverty and mental health stressors already interact to negatively impact the most vulnerable populations, COVID-19 is likely to have worsened these impacts. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in South Africa already faced intersecting mental health stressors and vulnerabilities. It is critical to understand how additional challenges brought on by COVID-19 have intersected with existing vulnerabilities and mental health risks AGYW faced, particularly given the intersections between psychological distress and increased risk behaviours that impact sexual and reproductive health. This study aimed to examine socio-economic and mental health impacts of COVID-19 on South African AGYW in order to understand how additional challenges brought on by COVID-19 have intersected with existing challenges, compounding AGYW vulnerabilities.
Food insecurity, depressive symptoms, and the salience of gendered family roles during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Debra L. Shepherd

Published: February 2022   Journal: Social Science & Medicine
Extensive research has indicated food insecurity to be associated with depressive symptoms, both of which have been indicated to increase globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. Few studies, however, have made use of nationally representative and longitudinal data to investigate this relationship, making causal claims difficult. In South Africa (SA), as with other low- and middle-income contexts, population-based studies have generally focused on mothers during the perinatal period and other vulnerable groups. This study made use of Cross-Lagged Dynamic Panel Models to examine the relationship between household food insecurity and the depressive symptoms of adults across three waves of the National Income Dynamics Survey–Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM) study collected in 2020 and 2021, a dataset nationally representative of all adults in SA in 2017. Stratification of the sample by gender, parenthood and marital statuses allowed for the assessment of gender differences in family roles that might account for differential impacts of food insecurity on mental health outcomes.
Paediatric hospitalisations due to COVID-19 during the first SARS-CoV-2 omicron (B.1.1.529) variant wave in South Africa: a multicentre observational study

AUTHOR(S)
Jeané Cloete; Annelet Kruger; Maureen Masha (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health

South Africa reported a notable increase in COVID-19 cases from mid-November, 2021, onwards, starting in Tshwane District, which coincided with the rapid community spread of the SARS-CoV-2 omicron (B.1.1.529) variant. This increased infection rate coincided with a rapid increase in paediatric COVID-19-associated admissions to hospital (hereafter referred to as hospitalisations). The Tshwane Maternal-Child COVID-19 study is a multicentre observational study which investigated the clinical manifestations and outcomes of paediatric patients (aged ≤19 years) who had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were admitted to hospital for any reason in Tshwane District during a 6-week period at the beginning of the fourth wave of the COVID-19 epidemic in South Africa. It used five data sources, which were: (1) COVID-19 line lists; (2) collated SARS-CoV-2 testing data; (3) SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequencing data; (4) COVID-19 hospitalisation surveillance; and (5) clinical data of public sector COVID-19-associated hospitalisations among children aged 13 years and younger.

Social protection in the COVID-19 pandemic: lessons from South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Lena Gronbach; Jeremy Seekings; Vayda Megannon

Institution: Center for Global Development
Published: February 2022
South Africa responded to the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown using a combination of existing social protection programmes, unemployment insurance, and additional measures to support those most affected. This paper reviews policies and implementation with the objective of highlighting lessons for the global community, including on the use of digital mechanisms.
Early childhood care and education access in South Africa during COVID-19: Evidence from NIDS-CRAM

AUTHOR(S)
Gabrielle Wills; Jesal Kika-Mistry

Published: February 2022   Journal: Development Southern Africa
Using a longitudinal telephonic survey of adults, this paper provides empirical evidence from South Africa on early childhood care and education (ECCE) attendance trends just before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. About 39% of adult respondents living with children aged 0–6 indicated that at least one child had attended an ECCE programme in February 2020. After a period of ECCE programme closures and lockdowns, estimates fell to as low as 7% in July/August 2020, partially recovered to 28% in November/December 2020, dropped again to 7% in early February 2021 but then recovered significantly to 36% by April/May 2021. A decomposition analysis suggests that a large part of the recovery in ECCE attendance in 2021 was attributed to higher reported perceived ability to be able to afford ECCE programme fees. This could relate to lower fee ECCE programmes resuming operations in anticipation of government relief payments.
Lockdown-associated hunger may be affecting breastfeeding: findings from a large SMS survey in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Nazeeia Sayed; Ronelle Burger; Abigail Harper (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have, on food security and child health is especially concerning. A rapid, Short Message Service (SMS) Maternal and Child Health survey was conducted in South Africa in June 2020 (n = 3140), with a follow-up in July 2020 (n = 2287). This was a national cross-sectional survey conducted among pregnant women and mothers registered with the MomConnect mhealth platform. Logistic regression was conducted to explore the associations between breastfeeding, maternal depressive symptoms, and hunger in the household. High breastfeeding initiation rates and the early introduction of other foods or mixed milk feeding were found.
A generational catastrophe: COVID-19 and children’s access to education and food in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Debra Shepherd; Nompumelelo Mohohlwane

Published: December 2021   Journal: Development Southern Africa
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, children have been put at greater risk of school drop-out, as well as food insecurity and emotional health deterioration. This paper considers these issues as they have occurred in South Africa. It uses all waves of the National Income Dynamics Study–Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey to estimate non-return to school, access to school meals, and household well-being. The number of learners not attending school in 2021 is estimated to be close to quadruple pre-pandemic levels. Combined with estimates of learning lost, we can conclude that the pandemic has worn away at two decades of progress made in basic education. Evidence also indicates that school feeding has been slow to recover to pre-pandemic levels. Deepened levels of household hunger combined with a lack of access to free school meals is indicated to contribute to significantly greater levels of caregiver anxiety and psychological distress.
A critical review of teaching with virtual lab: a panacea to challenges of conducting practical experiments in science subjects beyond the COVID-19 pandemic in rural schools in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Brian Shambare; Clement Simuja

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of Educational Technology Systems
This paper is based on a systematic literature review of published research on the educational application of Virtual Lab. The paper focuses on the use of the mobile Virtual Lab application for learning science practicals in rural school context. This paper analyses the theoretical aspects of using VL in teaching and learning of science practical experiments. The previous studies published in national and international journals and conference proceedings on science education and technologies in education, and regarding the benefits of using VL in science education, are discussed as references for integrating VL in teaching of science practicals in the rural school context. A systematic review method was adopted in this paper to explore articles that focus on Virtual Labs and the use of Virtual labs in teaching and learning. However, the aim of this paper is to provide science teachers in rural schools and education policy makers with a better understanding of the constraints and the benefits of using VL technology in mediating learning of science practical experiments and encourage teachers to adopt the use of VL as technology for conducting science practical experiments. In addition, this paper also addresses the possible factors that may affect learners’ learning of science practical experiments using VL technology in rural school educational settings, giving educational policy makers and curriculum developers enlightenment as to the effective integration of VL technology in science education.
How young people experienced COVID-19 disease containment measures in the Western Cape, South Africa: A qualitative study including the perspectives of young people, their parents, teachers and school counsellors

AUTHOR(S)
Bronwynè J. Coetzee; Hermine Gericke; Suzanne Human (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Psychology and Psychotherapy

Little is known about the potential impact of COVID-19 disease containment measures on children's mental health and well-being, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This study sought to explore this amongst young adolescents in South Africa and from the perspectives of multiple key stakeholders. It conducted 25 individual semi-structured telephonic interviews with children (n = 7, aged 12–13 years), teachers (n = 8), parents/caregivers (n = 7) and school counsellors (n = 3) from two public primary schools in the Western Cape, South Africa. Interviews were conducted between July and September 2020 and transcribed verbatim. The data were analysed inductively using thematic analysis procures.

Lockdown babies: Birth and new parenting experiences during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa, a cross-sectional study

AUTHOR(S)
Elise Farley; Amanda Edwards; Emma Numanoglu (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Women and Birth

Perceived birth experiences of parents can have a lasting impact on children. This study explored the birth and new parenting experiences of South African parents in 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdown. It was a cross-sectional online survey with consenting parents of babies born in South Africa during 2020. Factors associated with negative birth emotions and probable depression were estimated using logistic regression.

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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.