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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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

AUTHOR(S)
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.

Global, regional, and national minimum estimates of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death, by age and family circumstance up to Oct 31, 2021: an updated modelling study

AUTHOR(S)
H. Juliette T. Unwin; Susan Hillis; Lucie Cluver (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health

In the 6 months following our estimates from March 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021, the proliferation of new coronavirus variants, updated mortality data, and disparities in vaccine access increased the amount of children experiencing COVID-19-associated orphanhood. To inform responses, this study aimed to model the increases in numbers of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death, as well as the cumulative orphanhood age-group distribution and circumstance (maternal or paternal orphanhood). It used updated excess mortality and fertility data to model increases in minimum estimates of COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver deaths from our original study period of March 1, 2020–April 30, 2021, to include the new period of May 1–Oct 31, 2021, for 21 countries.

Social inequalities and extreme vulnerability of children and adolescents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Aloísio Antônio Gomes de Matos; Kimberly Virginin Cruz Correia da Silva; Jucier Gonçalves Júnior (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

This study aims to identify the hidden orphans and to reinforce existing monitoring systems. Orphanhood is a public health issue, and it primarily evidences existing geopolitical tensions. Thus, this study emphasises the strong naturalisation of social inequalities and the extreme vulnerability of children and adolescents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 continues to tear families apart, leaving the children of deceased parents with even fewer options than before the pandemic. In Brazil, one child is orphaned by COVID-19 every 5 min. This is an alarming estimate, especially in the most vulnerable and underprivileged regions of the country, such as the North and Northeast. Current evidence emphasises that at every three million deaths due to the pandemic, more than 1.5 million children lose their mothers, fathers or primary caregivers (usually grandparents). This may be very traumatic for children. In this context, Brazil is the second country in the world with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths, reducing caregiving options among family members.

Global minimum estimates of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and deaths of caregivers: a modelling study

AUTHOR(S)
Susan D. Hillis; H. Juliette T. Unwin; Yu Chen (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: The Lancet Journal
The COVID-19 pandemic priorities have focused on prevention, detection, and response. Beyond morbidity and mortality, pandemics carry secondary impacts, such as children orphaned or bereft of their caregivers. Such children often face adverse consequences, including poverty, abuse, and institutionalisation. This study provides estimates for the magnitude of this problem resulting from COVID-19 and describes the need for resource allocation. It used mortality and fertility data to model minimum estimates and rates of COVID-19-associated deaths of primary or secondary caregivers for children younger than 18 years in 21 countries. It considered parents and custodial grandparents as primary caregivers, and co-residing grandparents or older kin (aged 60–84 years) as secondary caregivers. To avoid overcounting, it adjusted for possible clustering of deaths using an estimated secondary attack rate and age-specific infection–fatality ratios for SARS-CoV-2. It used these estimates to model global extrapolations for the number of children who have experienced COVID-19-associated deaths of primary and secondary caregivers.
Orphanage trafficking and child protection in emergencies in Nepal: a comparative analysis of the 2015 earthquake and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Martin Punaks; Samjyor Lama

Published: December 2020   Journal: Institutionalised Children Explorations and Beyond
This article compares and contrasts two humanitarian emergencies and their impact on Nepal: these are the Nepal earthquake in 2015 and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. It explains how each emergency has impacted children without parental care or at risk of family separation, with specific reference to orphanage trafficking, voluntourism, child institutionalisation and family preservation. In relation to each emergency, the article considers the role of disaster preparedness; the roles of the Nepal government, the international community and civil society; and the significance of one emergency being localised, while the other is a global phenomenon. It also shows that while these emergencies have increased the risk of harm and exploitation for children and families, they have also driven forward innovation in child protection practices, particularly through the use of reintegration, case management and family preservation programmes.
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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.