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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Policy foundations for transformation: a gender analysis of adolescent health policy documents in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Tanya Jacobs; Asha George; Michelle De Jong

Published: April 2021   Journal: Health Policy and Planning
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations Global Strategy (2016–30) emphasize that all women, children and adolescents ‘survive, thrive and transform’. A key element of this global policy framework is that gender equality is a stand-alone goal as well as a cross-cutting priority. Gender inequality and intersecting social and structural determinants shape health systems, including the content of policy documents, with implications for implementation. This article applies a gender lens to policy documents by national government bodies that have mandates on adolescent health in South Africa. Data were 15 policy documents, authored between 2003 and 2018, by multiple actors. The content analysis was guided by key lines of enquiry, and policy documents were classified along the continuum of gender blind to gender transformative.
'Now my life is stuck!’: experiences of adolescents and young people during COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Lesley Gittings; Elona Toska; Sally Medley (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Global Public Health
Consequences of COVID-19 pandemic responses have included exacerbated poverty, food insecurity and state and domestic violence. Such effects may be particularly pronounced amongst adolescents and young people living in contexts of precarity and constraint, including in South Africa. However, there are evidence gaps on the lived experiences of this group. Telephonic semi-structured interviews with adolescents and young people in two South African provinces (n = 12, ages 18–25) were conducted in April 2020 to explore and document their experiences, challenges and coping strategies during strict COVID-19 lockdown.
COVID-19 and the pivotal role of grandparents: childcare and income support in the UK and South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Sara Cantillon; Elena Moore; Nina Teasdale

Published: March 2021   Journal: Feminist Economics
The COVID-19 global crisis and the “stay-home” response taken by most governments has starkly exposed the dependence of formal economies on the invisible and unpaid care labor of women – a dependence that has intensified during the pandemic as public childcare provision and schools are shut and parents work from home. This article focuses specifically on the childcare and income support provided by grandparents in the United Kingdom and South Africa. In undertaking this comparative analysis the study demonstrates the universality of intergenerational interdependence and the contextual specificity of grandparental childcare and income provision, as well as the differential impacts of suspending, or risking, such supports during the pandemic. Grandparents within and across households make substantial contributions to economic, social, and affective lives, and the study argues for greater recognition of these crucial contributions and the development of a more intersectional understanding of the provision of care work.
Relationships with caregivers and mental health outcomes among adolescents living with HIV: a prospective cohort study in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Yulia Shenderovich; Mark Boyes; Michelle Degli Esposti (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: BMC Public Health
Mental health problems may impact adherence to anti-retroviral treatment, retention in care, and consequently the survival of adolescents living with HIV. The adolescent-caregiver relationship is an important potential source of resilience. However, there is a lack of longitudinal research in sub-Saharan Africa on which aspects of adolescent-caregiver relationships can promote mental health among adolescents living with HIV. This article draws on a prospective longitudinal cohort study undertaken in South Africa to address this question.
Counting the cost: COVID-19 school closures in South Africa and its impact on children

AUTHOR(S)
Nic Spaull; Servaas van der Berg

Published: December 2020   Journal: South African Journal of Childhood Education

When the new coronavirus rapidly spread across the globe, the impact of the virus on children was still unclear, and closing schools seemed the responsible thing to do. But much has been learnt since about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the effects of lockdown and school closures, both in South Africa and internationally. This article aims  to show that the mortality risk of the virus is extremely small for children, even when assuming an extremely pessimistic scenario for total COVID-19 deaths.

COVID-19 and alternative care in South Africa: children’s responses to the pandemic: a case study from a child and youth care centre in Mogale City

AUTHOR(S)
Rika Swanzen; Gert Jonker

Published: December 2020   Journal: Institutionalised Children Explorations and Beyond
The experiences from a case study are evaluated against the aspects such as emergency response to vulnerable populations and other sources from the literature to serve as guidelines for the management of an epidemic in a child and youth care centre (CYCC). To help understand the effects of the epidemic on the centre, this article describes experiences in terms of the meeting of needs.
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Kate Webb; Deepthi Raju Abraham; Ayodele Faleye (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health
There are reports of a multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children associated with COVID-19 known as MIS-C or paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (PIMS-TS).  The definition of MIS-C issued by WHO includes clinical and laboratory features, with evidence of COVID-19, or likely contact with a person who has or has had COVID-19. South Africa has the most reported COVID-19 cases in Africa, with the Western Cape Province acting as the initial epicentre with a total of 93.414 people with confirmed COVID-19 by July 31, 2020, of whom 2910 were younger than 15 years old.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 4 | Issue: 10 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, COVID-19, infectious disease, respiratory diseases | Countries: South Africa
What are we doing to the children of South Africa under the guise of COVID-19 lockdown?

AUTHOR(S)
Lore van Bruwaene; Fatima Mustafa; Jeane Cloete (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: South African Medical Journal
Effects on children of the COVID-19 response.
Cite this research | Vol.: 110 | Issue: 7 | No. of pages: 574-575 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Child Protection | Tags: child abuse, child health, child nutrition | Countries: South Africa
Is the COVID-19 regulation that prohibits parental visits to their children who are patients in hospital invalid in terms of the Constitution? What should hospitals do?

AUTHOR(S)
D. J. McQuoid-Mason

Published: September 2020   Journal: South African Medical Journal
This article deals with whether the COVID-19 regulation that prohibits parental visits to their children who are patients in hospital is
invalid in terms of the Constitution of South Africa. The article contends that the ban on visits by parents to their children in hospital is
a violation of the children’s rights provisions of the Constitution regarding the ‘best interests of the child’, and the ‘best interests standard’
in the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. The article also points out that the regulations are not saved by the limitations clause of the Constitution,
because the restriction is not ‘reasonable and justifiable’ and a ‘less restrictive means’ can be used to achieve the same purpose of preventing
the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The article concludes that the relevant regulation is legally invalid, and hospitals would be fully justified
in allowing parental visits to child patients provided proper precautions are taken to contain the virus.
Reimagining parents' educational involvement during the Covid-19 lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Doria Daniels

Published: September 2020   Journal: Southern African Review of Education
This paper argues that under emergency conditions such as Covid-19, the strategies that the official educational establishment imposed to retain the formal curriculum are unjust. The abnormal educational circumstances require that education prioritise the well-being and safety of schoolchildren. Furthermore, the parental educational role needs to be reimagined for its value in advancing educational goals.
Cite this research | Vol.: 26 | Issue: 1 | No. of pages: 134-147 | Language: English | Topics: Education | Tags: child education, parental guidance, parents education, remote learning | Countries: South Africa
School lessons from the Covid-19 lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Nick Taylor

Published: September 2020   Journal: Southern African Review of Education
This article draws on recent literature spawned by the Covid-19 outbreak, together with related research studies and a survey of 16 South African families undertaken in April 2020 at the start of the national lockdown. A qualitative case study method was adopted and telephonic interviews conducted with the main caregiver and up to two children in each family in order to understand how learning at home might be promoted.
Every child is a national (playing) asset: a portrait of a Soweto boy's contradictory worlds of play and performance before and during the Covid-19 lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Shafika Isaacs

Published: September 2020   Journal: Southern African Review of Education
This paper deliberately places under a microscope, a township boychild named Kabelo, who is labelled in the formal education system as underperforming, learning-disabled and cognitively challenged. Kabelo epitomises the pattern of boy academic underperformance in South Africa and worldwide, particularly in reading and literacy. This pattern feeds a dominant narrative about systemic learning deficits that risks the stigmatisation of academically underperforming children whose lives intersect with stubborn structural inequality, and renders them invisible as capable, playful children.
Cite this research | Vol.: 26 | Issue: 1 | No. of pages: 116-133 | Language: English | Topics: Education | Tags: child education, play, social inequality | Countries: South Africa
Child protection and resilience in the face of COVID-19 in South Africa: a rapid review of C-19 legislation

AUTHOR(S)
Ansie Fouché; Daniël F. Fouché; Linda C. Theron Simba

Published: September 2020   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect
In response to the COVID-19 (C-19) pandemic, the South African government instituted strict lockdown and related legislation. Although this response was well intended, many believed it advanced children’s vulnerability to abuse and neglect. This article interrogates these concerns. It investigates how C-19 legislation enabled, or constrained, South African children’s protection from abuse and neglect and appraises the findings from a social-ecological resilience perspective with the aim of advancing child protection in times of emergency.
The implications of COVID-19 for the children of Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Fatima Mustafa; Robin J. Green

Published: April 2020   Journal: The South African Medical Journal
COVID-19 is an emerging problem that can potentially put intolerable strain on a health system that is fragile and likely to collapse, such as those that exist in Africa. Extraordinary times like these require ingenious statesmanship and astutely calculated plans to see a nation emerge through the crisis. And in such a crisis, special attention needs to be directed to the healthcare system, where medical attention, equipment and interventions need to be carefully rationed.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 110 | Issue: 6 | No. of pages: 1 (447) | Language: English | Topics: Health, Social Protection, Well-being and Equity | Tags: health care facilities, health services | Countries: South Africa
When will I be free: Lessons of COVID-19 for child protection in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Sadiyya Haffejee; Diane Thembekile Levine

Published: 2020   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect
The aim of this study was to explore the experiences and impact of the pandemic and the resulting social isolation on the wellbeing and protection of children living in a residential care facility. Children in care demonstrated an awareness of the socio-economic difficulties facing communities in South Africa, and shared deep concerns about the safety, well-being and welfare of parents and siblings. Although they expressed frustration at the lack of contact with family members, they acknowledged the resources they had access to in a residential care facility, which enabled them to cope and which ensured their safety.
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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.