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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Speaking truth to power: Legal scholars as survivors and witnesses of the Covid-19 maternal mortality in Brazil

Gabriela Rondon; Debora Diniz; Juliano Zaiden Benvindo

Published: November 2022   Journal: International Journal of Constitutional Law
The Covid-19 health emergency has placed special demands on legal scholars, particularly on those based in the Global South. Brazil has been one of the epicenters of the pandemic, with over 680,000 deaths as of August 2022. Our narrative emerges from the duality of our positions amid a national tragedy—we are at the same time survivors of the collective threat of a would-be autocrat and a Covid-19-denialist government, and witnesses to how our preexisting privileges put us in a position of readiness “to speak truth to power.” Speaking truth to power means not only to exercise an independent spirit of analysis and judgment with respect to power, but also to interpellate power openly about its wrongdoings. We understand that our responsibility as legal scholars is to embrace the urgency of the moment—to expand our research agendas beyond our previous academic trajectories and work to mitigate situations of rights violations. It also means that our work as legal scholars has had to transcend the traditional academic spaces. We have positioned ourselves as advocates and litigators for those most affected by the pandemic, in particular vulnerable women. In this article, we share one of our key initiatives during the pandemic—a constitutional lawsuit to demand the right of pregnant and postpartum people to access Covid-19 vaccines.
Mindful parenting mediated between mothers' perceived stress during COVID-19 and child adjustment

Rebecca Y. M. Cheung; Iris Yili Wang

Published: November 2022   Journal: Mindfulness

Maternal stress is associated with a myriad of maladjusted outcomes among children. To identify the role of mindful parenting between mothers’ stress and child adjustment during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study tested competing hypotheses with mothers’ mindful parenting as a mediator versus a moderator. A total of 172 Chinese mothers of preschool-aged children participated in this study. Participants completed a self-report measure of stress during COVID-19 and mindful parenting, as well as a mother-report measure of children’s prosocial behavior, internalizing problems, and externalizing problems. Structural equation models were conducted to examine the mediation versus moderation effects of mindful parenting between mothers’ stress during COVID-19 and child adjustment, after controlling for family income, children’s age, sex, and adjustment at baseline.

A mixed methods study to assess the impact of COVID-19 on maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition in fragile and conflict-affected settings.

Mariana Rodo; Lucy Singh; Neal Russell (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Conflict and Health

The impacts of COVID-19 are unprecedented globally. The pandemic is reversing decades of progress in maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition (MNCHN), especially fragile and conflict-affected settings (FCAS) whose populations were already facing challenges in accessing basic health and nutrition services. This study aimed to investigate the collateral impact of COVID-19 on funding, services and MNCHN outcomes in FCAS, as well as adaptations used in the field to continue activities. A scoping review of peer-reviewed and grey literature published between 1st March 2020–31st January 2021 was conducted. It analysed 103 publications using a narrative synthesis approach. 39 remote semi-structured key informant interviews with humanitarian actors and donor staff within 12 FCAS were conducted between October 2020 and February 2021. Thematic analysis was undertaken independently by two researchers on interview transcripts and supporting documents provided by key informants, and triangulated with literature review findings.

The magnitude of hidden hunger and cognitive deficits of children living in some selected orphanages in Kumasi, Ghana during the COVID pandemic

Mary Asamoah; Marina Tandoh

Published: May 2022   Journal: The FASEB Journal

Many studies have assessed the magnitude of mixed micronutrient deficiencies or individual micronutrient deficiencies among children under 5 years, women of reproductive age (15- 49 years old) and pregnant women. This has led to various interventions for these population groups including supplementations, fortifications etc. However, the same attention has not been given to vulnerable children living in various orphanages, especially in Children’s Homes in Ghana where much is not known about their nutritional status. Socio- economic downturns like that induced by the current coronavirus pandemic affects food security and nutrition, thus the nutritional status of this vulnerable population could potentially be worsened. This study assessed the magnitude of hidden hunger and cognitive deficits of 130 children (6- 13 years old) living in three selected orphanages in Kumasi, Ghana.

Impact of COVID-19 on maternal health and child care behavior: Evidence from a quasi-experimental study of vulnerable communities in Boa Vista, Brazil

Georg Loss; Günther Fink; Luana Bessa (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Child abuse & neglect

COVID-19 related distress has been shown to have negative associations with family well-being. This study aimed to determine the immediate impact of acute COVID-19 infection on maternal well-being and parenting practices among Brazilian families. It analyzed 2′579 mothers (29′913 observations) of young children from vulnerable neighborhoods in Boa Vista, Brazil over 12 months.

Parents’ experiences regarding neonatal care during the COVID-19 pandemic: country-specific findings of a multinational survey

Johanna Kostenzer; Charlotte von Rosenstiel-Pulver; Julia Hoffmann (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: BMJ Open

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare systems, challenging neonatal care provision globally. Curtailed visitation policies are known to negatively affect the medical and emotional care of sick, preterm and low birth weight infants, compromising the achievement of the 2030 Development Agenda. Focusing on infant and family-centred developmental care (IFCDC), we explored parents’ experiences of the disruptions affecting newborns in need of special or intensive care during the first year of the pandemic. Cross-sectional study using an electronic, web-based questionnaire.

Becoming a mother during COVID-19 pandemic: how to protect maternal mental health against stress factors

Hugo Bottemanne; Brune Vahdat; Cleo Jouault (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were an increasing prevalence of perinatal psychiatric symptoms, such as perinatal anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorders. This growth could be caused by a range of direct and indirect stress factors related to the virus and changes in health, social and economic organization. This review explores the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on perinatal mental health, and proposes a range of hypothesis about their etiological mechanisms. It suggests first that the fear of being infected or infected others (intrauterine transmission, passage of the virus from mother to baby during childbirth, infection through breast milk), and the uncertainty about the effect of the virus on the fetuses and infants may have played a key-role to weakening the mental health of mothers. It also highlights that public health policies such as lockdown, limiting prenatal visits, social distancing measures, and their many associated socio-economic consequences (unemployment, loss of income, and domestic violence) may have been an additional challenge for perinatal mental health. Ground on these hypotheses, it finally purposes some recommendations to protect perinatal mental health during a pandemic, including a range of specific support based on digital technologies (video consultations, phone applications) during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Do not forget the children: a model-based analysis on the potential impact of COVID-19-associated interruptions in paediatric HIV prevention and care

Clare F. Flanagan; Nicole McCann; John Stover (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: https://doi.org/10.1002/jia2.25864

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected women and children globally, disrupting antiretroviral therapy (ART) services and exacerbating pre-existing barriers to care for both pregnant women and paediatric populations. This study used the Spectrum modelling package and the CEPAC-Pediatric model to project the impact of COVID-19-associated care disruptions on three key populations in the 21 Global Plan priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa: (1) pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV and their children, (2) all children (aged 0–14 years) living with HIV (CLWH), regardless of their engagement in care and (3) CLWH who were engaged in care and on ART prior to the start of the pandemic. The study projected clinical outcomes over the 12-month period of 1 March 2020 to 1 March 2021.

Large gaps in the quality of healthcare experienced by Swedish mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study based on WHO standards

Mehreen Zaigham; Karolina Linden; Verena Sengpie (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Women and Birth

To describe the quality of care during pregnancy and childbirth, as reported by the women themselves, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden, using the WHO ‘Standards for improving quality of maternal and newborn care in health facilities’. Using an anonymous, online questionnaire, women ≥18 years were invited to participate if they had given birth in Sweden from March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. The quality of maternal and newborn care was measured using 40 questions across four domains: provision of care, experience of care, availability of human/physical resources, and organisational changes due to COVID-19.

Reconfiguring home: seeing remote work and school through mothers and their children
Published: December 2021   Journal: Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings
What happens when we include children as equal participants? In a project to identify design opportunities to support working mothers during a time when schools have closed across the U.S. in response to COVID-19, this study crafted the research to create space for children to voice their needs. Opportunities for all parties involved have been offered—the designers, the researchers, and the moms who participated.
Exploring the lived experiences of pregnant women and community health care providers during the pandemic of COVID-19 in Bangladesh through a phenomenological analysis

Sadika Akhter; Feroza Akhter Kumkum; Farzana Bashar (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

Like many countries, the government of Bangladesh also imposed stay-at-home orders to restrict the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (COVID-19) in March, 2020. Epidemiological studies were undertaken to estimate the early possible unforeseen effects on maternal mortality due to the disruption of services during the lockdown. Little is known about the constraints faced by the pregnant women and community health workers in accessing and providing basic obstetric services during the pandemic in the country. This study was conducted to explore the lived experience of pregnant women and community health care providers from two southern districts of Bangladesh during the pandemic of COVID-19. The study participants were recruited through purposive sampling and non-structured in-depth interviews were conducted. Data was collected over the telephone from April to June, 2020. The data collected was analyzed through a phenomenological approach.

COVID-19 infection in newborns

Jeffrey M. Perlman; Christine Salvatore

Published: November 2021   Journal: Clinics in Perinatology
The COVID-19 pandemic due to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has spread worldwide with heavy consequences on global public health during the past 1.5 years. During this time it has become apparent that adults with co-morbidities have the highest risk for severe disease and death, meanwhile it became clearer that children, even though not immune from acquiring the infection, had a less severe presentation and outcome compared to adults. Seroprevalence from some reports seems similar to adults, but the observed cases are less, indicating most likely that children are asymptomatic or very mildly ill to draw medical attention and to be tested.
Neonatal care during the COVID-19 pandemic - a global survey of parents’ experiences regarding infant and family-centred developmental care

Johanna Kostenzer; Julia Hoffmann; Charlotte von Rosenstiel-Pulver (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: EClinicalMedicine
The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions affect provision and quality of neonatal care. This global study explores parents’ experiences regarding the impact of the restrictions on key characteristics of infant and family-centred developmental care (IFCDC) during the first year of the pandemic. For this cross-sectional study, a pre-tested online survey with 52 questions and translated into 23 languages was used to collect data between August and November 2020. Parents of sick or preterm infants born during the pandemic and receiving special/intensive care were eligible for participation. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and statistical testing based on different levels of restrictive measures.
Experiences of nurses caring for perinatal women and newborns during the COVID‐19 pandemic: A descriptive qualitative study

Hee Sun Kang; Yedong Son; Mi Ja Kim (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Nursing Open

Nurses are pivotal in caring for patients infected with COVID-19. Little is known about experiences of nurses in maternity care during the pandemic. Therefore, this study aimed to describe nurses’ experiences of caring for perinatal women and newborns during the pandemic. A descriptive qualitative study was conducted. Data were collected from August–November 2020 using focus group and in-depth interviews. A total of 24 nurses working in maternity and newborn care units participated in the study. Content analysis method was used for data analysis.

Pregnant in the United States in the COVID-19 pandemic: a collision of crises we cannot ignore

Pamela Stratton; Elena Gorodetsky; Janine Clayton

Published: April 2021   Journal: Journal of the National Medical Association

The COVID-19 pandemic and call for social justice is occurring when the United States, unlike its peer countries, has already experienced a steady 20-year rise in maternal morbidity and mortality with pregnant women today facing a 50 percent higher risk of mortality than their mothers.  Most vulnerable are women of color, black and American Indian/Alaska Native women, who have experienced longstanding disparities in access to and quality of healthcare and may begin pregnancy with hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, complications known to be more common in women enduring segregation. Initially, the race-related health disparities and resultant disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 cases and mortality in indigenous communities and black, latins, or other communities of color were mistakenly considered innate racial differences. More recently, these higher rates have been attributed to underlying social, structural, and environmental determinants of health including resource inequities, inadequate housing, and occupational and environmental hazards that result in greater exposure to and less protection from COVID-19.

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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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