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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Levels & trends in child mortality report 2021
Institution: *UNICEF, The World Bank, World Health Organisation
Published: December 2021

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.

"Public health and social measures' considerations for educational authorities: schooling in the time of COVID-19: Considerations for health and educational authorities on the public health and social measures to reopen schools as safely as possible"

AUTHOR(S)
Kalpana Vincent; Viviane Bianco; Sarah Fuller (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021

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.

Schooling in the time of COVID-19, a resource pack produced by UNICEF ECARO and WHO Europe
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021

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.

Prevalence and risk factors of violence against women and children during COVID-19, Germany

AUTHOR(S)
Cara Ebert; Janina I. Steinert

Institution: World Health Organisation
Published: August 2021   Journal: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
This study aims to assess the prevalence and exacerbating factors of violence against women and children in Germany during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. It conducted a representative online survey with partnered women (18–65 years) between 22 April and 8 May 2020, when participants had been under lockdown for a month. It determined the prevalence of several forms of violence within the previous month using both direct elicitation and a list experiment. It also conducted a multivariable logistic regression to assess the impact of pandemic associated risk factors.
Rise, respond, recover: renewing progress on women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health in the era of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Jennifer Requejo

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.

Young people and COVID-19: Behavioural considerations for promoting safe behaviours
Institution: World Health Organisation
Published: June 2021
In the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response, WHO identifies young people as a priority target audience with specific concerns, experiences and behaviours. This policy brief provides relevant insights from behavioural evidence and a set of behavioural considerations for those promoting COVID-19 preventive behaviours among young people. Designers of programmes and initiatives targeting youth may find it helpful to refer to the youth-specific barriers and drivers identified in this policy brief and to prioritize these for testing when planning initiatives targeted at young people.
Refugees and migrants in times of COVID-19: mapping trends of public health and migration policies and practices
Institution: World Health Organisation
Published: June 2021
Refugees and migrants have been disproportionately affected by both the direct effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictive migration measures put in place, which, in turn, have hampered coordinated and consistent public health responses. This report maps how the needs of refugee and migrant have been addressed in COVID-19 responses across countries and how these have varied considerably from inclusive policies to discriminatory practices. Many countries ensured access to health care for refugees and migrants regardless of migration status, and several countries also suspended forced returns and prioritized alternatives to immigration detention. An integrated approach to migration and public health policies covering protection-sensitive access to territories, a flexible approach to migration status and non-discriminatory access to health care is suggested as a policy consideration to uphold international conventions protecting the right to health without discrimination for refugees and migrants.
Definition and categorization of the timing of mother-to-child transmission of SARS-CoV-2
Institution: World Health Organisation
Published: February 2021
This scientific brief was prepared based on results of evidence synthesis and a WHO expert consultation. The WHO COVID-19 LENS (Living Evidence Synthesis) working group consolidated available evidence, based on rapid reviews of the literature and results of a living systematic review on pregnancy and COVID-19 (up to October 7, 2020), on potential mechanisms of vertical transmission of infectious pathogens, feasibility of vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2, data related to interpretation of positive SARS-CoV-2 virologic and serologic neonatal tests, lessons from diagnosis of other congenital infections, and existing proposed definitions to classify timing of vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2. WHO convened a multidisciplinary, international panel of experts between October and November 2020 to review the evidence and propose a consensus initial classification system for the timing of vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The panel included experts in obstetrics, neonatology, paediatrics, epidemiology, virology, infectious disease, congenital infections, and placental pathology. The selection of the panel ensured geographic representation, gender balance, and no important conflicts of interest, in accordance with WHO standard procedures.
Nutrition action in schools: a review of evidence related to the nutrition-friendly schools initiative
Institution: World Health Organisation
Published: January 2021
Good nutrition during childhood and adolescence is key to ensuring optimal growth, health and well-being. Healthy dietary practices in early life have an immediate impact on healthy growth and help prevent noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) later in life and across generations. Good nutrition in childhood is also good for school performance and educational outcomes, impacting on nations’ economic and social development. Since children spend so much time in school, the school environment is an important setting for children to acquire habits, skills and knowledge related to healthy diets and physical activity. In 2016-17, the vast majority of countries (89%) reported implementation of school health and nutrition programmes although inclusion of a comprehensive set of interventions was rare and implementation of such programmes appears to have weakened since the start of the decade.
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Global progress report on WASH in health care facilities: fundamentals first
Institution: World Health Organisation, *UNICEF
Published: December 2020 UNICEF Publication

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 role of palliative care in caring for the families of patients with COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Melissa Bakar; Elizabeth Capano; Melissa Patterson (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
This study examines the role of palliative care for families of patients with Covid-19 in hospital settings. Multicomponenet interdisciplinary interventions have been implemented to enhance the ability to create a therapeutic alliance with family members and facilitate the provision of goal concordant care to patients with COVID-19. Findings show that families and patients benefit from targeted psycho-social support through the difficult process of making complex medical and end-of-life decisions during this unprecedented time.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 37 | Issue: 10 | No. of pages: 866-868 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Mental Health | Tags: COVID-19 response, family assistance | Countries: United States | Publisher: World Health Organisation
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Protect the progress: rise, refocus, recover
Institution: World Health Organisation, *UNICEF
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
Since the Every Woman Every Child movement was launched 10 years ago, there has been remarkable progress in improving the health of the world’s women, children, and adolescents, including reducing maternal and child mortality and improving child nutrition and education. However, conflict, climate instability, and the COVID-19 pandemic are putting all children and adolescents at risk . In particular, the COVID-19 crisis is exacerbating inequities, with reported disruptions in essential health interventions disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable women and children.
This report notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear how fundamental good data are across sectors; that greater investments are needed to build resilient systems to provide high-quality and integrated services consistently; and COVID-19 recovery efforts  require multilateral action and continued investment in development.
Impact of COVID -19 on children: special focus on the psychosocial aspect

AUTHOR(S)
Ritwik Ghosh; Mahua Dubey; Subhankar Chatterjee (et al.)

Published: June 2020   Journal: Minerva Pediatrica
Although medical literature shows that children are minimally susceptible to 2019-Corona virus disease (COVID-19), they are hit the hardest by psychosocial impact of this pandemic. Being quarantined in homes and institutions may impose greater psychological burden than the physical sufferings caused by the virus. School closure, lack of outdoor activity, aberrant dietary and sleeping habits are likely to disrupt children's usual lifestyle and can potentially promote monotony, distress, impatience, annoyance and varied neuropsychiatric manifestations. Incidences of domestic violence, child abuse, adulterated online contents are on the rise. Children of single parent and frontline workers suffer unique problems. The children from marginalized communities are particularly susceptible to the infection and may suffer from extended ill-consequences of this pandemic, such as child labor, child trafficking, child marriage, sexual exploitation and death etc.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 72 | Issue: 3 | No. of pages: 226-235 | Language: English | Topics: Child Protection, Mental Health | Tags: child abuse and neglect, child mental health, COVID-19 response | Publisher: World Health Organisation
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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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The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.

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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.