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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.
Kalpana Vincent; Viviane Bianco; Sarah Fuller (et al.)
The return to face-to-face learning helps children return to a sense of normality, although different normality as prevention and control measures have likely altered school and classroom routines. It is important that schools should have a risk-mitigation strategy in place. Countries should ensure these strategies carefully balance the likely benefits for, and harms to, younger and older age groups of children when making decisions about implementing infection prevention and control measures. Any measure needs to be balanced with the even worse alternative of schools being closed and Any measure introduced by schools should follow standard protocols for implementation. This publication shares more detailed considerations for health and educational authorities on the public health and social measures to reopen schools as safely as possible.
Schools are essential for children’s learning, health, safety and well-being. But students’ learning suffered a major setback when most educational institutions reduced or cancelled in-person instruction and moved to remote learning and teaching to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Prolonged school closures continue to jeopardise the future of millions of children across the globe. The Europe and Central Asia Region is no exception. Schools should be the first to open and last to close. Getting children back in the classroom remains a priority for UNICEF and WHO Regional Offices, striking a balance between applying public health and social measures and ensuring that children are able to continue learning and socializing to the greatest extent possible. UNICEF and WHO have created several tools and resources to support countries in their back-to-school efforts. This joint UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (UNICEF/ ECARO) and WHO Regional Office for Europe Schooling Resource Pack has an easy-to-find compilation of materials to help parents/caregivers, teachers and students return to school safely.
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.
Melissa Bakar; Elizabeth Capano; Melissa Patterson (et al.)
Ritwik Ghosh; Mahua Dubey; Subhankar Chatterjee (et al.)
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.
Read the latest quarterly digest on children and disabilities.
The second digest discussed children and violence during the pandemic.
The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response
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