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The 2022 Global Strategy progress report provides an assessment of the situation of women’s, children’s and adolescent’s health in this third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Section 1 presents abundant evidence showing that inequities persist despite great progress in reducing maternal and child mortality in the two decades leading up to the pandemic. A child’s life trajectory and rights to health, education, opportunities and safety are still largely determined by where that child is born. Data showing stagnation or drops in coverage of lifesaving interventions similarly serve as a reminder of the need to be more vigilant about bridging gaps and placing women, children and adolescents at the centre of development efforts. It also showcases key drivers of women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and well-being. It emphasizes that women’s empowerment and adolescent participation are pivotal to achieving the 2030 Agenda yet notes that there is a long way to go in reducing gender inequality and increasing young people’s meaningful opportunities to actively engage in community and civic life. Also stressed is the importance of addressing the complex factors underpinning today’s unacceptable levels of malnutrition and developing effective strategies to reach women, children and adolescents affected by conflict, forced migration, poverty and climate change impacts. Section 2 takes stock of the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 on women, children and adolescents. Although children and adolescents are less likely to experience severe health consequences from SARS-COV-2 infection compared with adults, multiple years of education, health, nutrition and social service disruptions have impacted and will continue to impact their lives.
UNICEF and WHO jointly organized Ending Violence Against Children During COVID-19 and Beyond: Second Regional Conference to Strengthen Implementation of the INSPIRE Strategies, held virtually on 1–5 November 2021. The Conference comes under the umbrella of the 2021 Solutions Summit series of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children (GPEVAC). Over 1700 delegates gathered for the Conference virtually, representing governments (including from the health, social welfare, education and justice sectors), youth groups, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United Nations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), international NGOs, faith-based organizations and religious leaders, academic institutions, private sector and development partners, as well as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children. The purpose of the Conference was to identify actions needed to ensure effective prevention and response to VAC during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, utilizing the strategies outlined in INSPIRE: Seven strategies for ending violence against children.
Worldwide, more people are on the move now than ever before, yet many refugees and migrants face poorer health outcomes than the host populations. Addressing their health needs is, therefore, a global health priority and integral to the principle of the right to health for all. The key is to strengthen and maintain health systems by ensuring that they are refugee- and migrant-sensitive and inclusive. Health outcomes are influenced by a whole host of determinants. However, refugees and migrants face additional determinants such as precarious legal status; discrimination; social, cultural, linguistic, administrative and financial barriers; lack of information about health entitlements; low health literacy; and fear of detention and deportation. This groundbreaking publication outlines current and future opportunities and challenges and provides several strategies to improve the health and well-being of refugees and migrants. It is an advocacy tool for national and international policy-makers involved in health and migration.
This is the first position paper to be published by WHO on the behavioural and social drivers (BeSD) of vaccine uptake. It summarizes the development of new tools and indicators to assess the BeSD of vaccine uptake for childhood and COVID-19 vaccination, enabling decision-makers on immunization policy, programme managers, and partners to address under-vaccination through an enhanced understanding of the underlying causes. This paper also reports the main findings of a scoping review that examined existing systematic reviews and meta-analyses on interventions to improve vaccine uptake – a first step towards understanding which interventions work to increase vaccine uptake, for whom, and in what settings. Finally, this paper makes recommendations for using the new tools and the resulting data to prioritize local interventions, and concludes with future research directions.
While the world was gripped by the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, children continued to face the same crisis they have for decades: intolerably high mortality rates and vastly inequitable chances at life. In total, more than 5.0 million children under age 5, including 2.4 million newborns, along with 2.2 million children and youth aged 5 to 24 years – 43 per cent of whom are adolescents – died in 2020. This tragic and massive loss of life, most of which was due to preventable or treatable causes, is a stark reminder of the urgent need to end preventable deaths of children and young people. Data gaps remain a serious challenge to child mortality estimation and monitoring. Almost two thirds of low and middle income countries (97 out of 135) have no reliable mortality data in the past three years. And just 40 countries had high-quality national data for 2020 included in the estimation model, though national or subnational data were available for more than 80 countries or areas to help analyse excess mortality due to COVID-19.
Cara Ebert; Janina I. Steinert
This action brief summarizes the latest status and trends of key areas related to women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and well-being from a global perspective. It aims to promote coordinated action among global and national partners to recognize and overcome the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, children and adolescents and to accelerate progress to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Rise, Respond, Recover is an update to Protect the Progress: 2020 progress report on Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s, Childrens’ and Adolescents’ Health (September 2020), capturing key evidence points presented in May 2021 to the World Health Assembly as well as top priorities and activities among partners.
This global progress report on water, sanitation, hygiene, waste management and cleaning (WASH) in health care facilities comes at an unprecedented moment, when coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is exposing key vulnerabilities in health systems, such as inadequate infection prevention and control. WASH services in health care facilities, so often taken for granted – or as this report highlights, outright neglected – are needed more than ever to protect vulnerable health workers and patients. The report identifies major global gaps in WASH services: one third of health care facilities do not have what is needed to clean hands where care is provided; one in four facilities lack basic water services, and one in 10 have no sanitation services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion school-age children in more than 190 countries. Already last year, 250 million school-age children being out of school, the world was facing a “learning crisis”. But now with the COVID-19 pandemic, this crisis could turn into a generational catastrophe. While many children will continue with their education once schools reopen, others may never return to school. Current estimates indicate that 24 million children will never return to the classroom and among those, disproportional number of girls. To avert this crisis, we need to reimagine how we deliver good quality and inclusive education to the world children. Among other things, this calls for urgent investments in school health and nutrition programmes and create the conditions for children to lead healthy lives. This also includes health and nutrition literacy offered through the curriculum and through counselling in the school health services which provides young people with knowledge, skills, values, culture and behaviours they need to lead healthy, empowered lives.
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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