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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak response on women and girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: December 2020
Lessons learned from past public health crises shed light on the potential consequences of epidemics, not only on the health of women and girls, but on all aspects of their lives. Today, faced with COVID-19, only 52% of countries provide sex-disaggregated data on morbidity and mortality related to COVID-19. Analyses of the broader impacts of the pandemic and the public health measures put in place to control its spread on women and girls are still too scarce.
“We have a lot of home deliveries”: a qualitative study on the impact of COVID-19 on access to and utilization of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health care among refugee women in urban Eastleigh, Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Adelaide M. Lusambili; Michela Martini; Faiza Abdirahman (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Journal of Migration and Health
This study aimed to improve understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on women refugees’ access to and utilisation of antenatal care, delivery and postnatal care in Eastleigh, Kenya.
Centring adolescent girls and young women in the HIV and COVID-19 responses

AUTHOR(S)
Ameena Goga; Linda Gail Bekker; Philippe Van de Perre

Published: November 2020   Journal: The Lancet
Adolescent girls (10–19 years) and young women (20–24 years) are a key part of the 1·8 billion people who live in fragile contexts. In 2019, adolescent girls and young women comprised an estimated 10% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa but accounted for 59% of new HIV infections. Adolescent girls and young women are disproportionally affected by HIV and COVID-19.
COVID-19 quarantine-related mental health symptoms and their correlates among mothers: a cross sectional study

AUTHOR(S)
Somaya H. Malkawi; Khader Almhdawi; Alaa F. Jaber (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Maternal and Child Health Journal
One of the strictest quarantines worldwide to limit the spread of coronavirus was enforced in Jordan during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study investigated reported mental health and changes in lifestyle practices among Jordanian mothers during COVID-19 quarantine. The specifc objectives included studying the level of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms and their potential statistical associations with demographic and lifestyle variables. Furthermore, the study aimed to investigate differences in mental health between different demographic and socio-economic groups and to examine the major lifestyle changes that occurred on mothers during the quarantine.
Mental health of pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal study

AUTHOR(S)
Hernán López-Morales; Macarena Verónica Del Valle; Lorena Canet-Juric

Published: November 2020   Journal: Psychiatry Research
Several studies have reported the susceptibility of pregnant women to emotional instability and stress. Thus, pregnancy may be a risk factor that could deepen the already negative effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the aim of this study is to analyze longitudinally the psychopathological consequences of the pandemic in pregnant women, and to explore differences with non-pregnant women. The participants in this study were 102 pregnant women, and a control group of 102 non-pregnant women (most of them reported having university studies and little financial impact from the pandemic). 
Why COVID-19 strengthens the case for a dedicated financing mechanism to scale up innovation in women's, children's, and adolescents' health

AUTHOR(S)
Flavia Bustreo; Mario Merialdi; Rachael Hinton (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: The Lancet Global Health
The disruptive effects of pandemics on the delivery of health services is increasingly recognised as a global threat to maternal and child health. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the need to not only rapidly develop health-care innovations but to also make them equitably available. In this context, innovations that contribute to maintaining coverage of essential interventions, such as by facilitating task shifting, simplifying service delivery, or both, are crucial. Therefore, this paper argues that the case for a dedicated financing mechanism for scaling up innovations in women's, children's, and adolescents' health is stronger than ever.
Close to contagion: the impact of COVID-19 on displaced and refugee girls and women
Institution: Plan International
Published: September 2020

Currently, as COVID-19 spreads across the world, an unprecedented 76.7 million people are living as refugees, or have been displaced inside their countries. Some 131 of the countries affected by COVID-19 have sizeable refugee populations and more than 80% of refugees are hosted in low- and middle-income countries including Uganda, Sudan, Pakistan and Turkey, with health systems that are ill-equipped to manage significant outbreaks. Refugee and IDP camps are mostly chronically overcrowded and measures to avoid community transmission of the virus, such as physical distancing and frequent handwashing, are difficult to implement. The absence of basic amenities, such as clean running water and soap, insufficient medical personnel, and poor access to health information, let alone access to masks, will make avoiding infection virtually impossible. Also, in many host countries, refugees’ entitlement to healthcare and social protection systems are restricted or non-existent, which increases their vulnerability even further.

From insights to action: Gender equality in the wake of COVID-19 
Institution: UN Women
Published: September 2020
This publication summarizes the data, research and policy work produced by UN Women on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls, including how it is affecting extreme poverty, employment, health, unpaid care and violence against women and girls. The publication also brings into focus the paucity of gender data and calls for greater investment and prioritization of data on the gendered effects of the crisis.
Vulnerability and resilience to pandemic-related stress among U.S. women pregnant at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Heidi Preis; Brittain Mahaffey; Cassandra Heiselman (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: Social Science & Medicine
Women pregnant during the  COVID-19 pandemic are  experiencing moderate to  high levels of emotional distress, which has  previously been shown to  be  attributable to  two  types of  pandemic-related pregnancy stress: stress associated with feeling unprepared for  birth due  to  the  pandemic (Preparedness Stress) and stress related to fears of perinatal COVID-19 infection (Perinatal Infection Stress). Objective. Given the well-documented harms associated with elevated prenatal stress and  the  critical importance of  developing appropriately targeted interventions, we investigated factors predictive of pandemic-related pregnancy stress.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 266 | No. of pages: 4 | Language: English | Topics: Mental Health | Tags: pregnant women, psychological distress, resiliency, women's health | Countries: United States
Specifics of COVID-19 in pregnant women and their children-a review

AUTHOR(S)
Paweł Stanicki; Julita Szarpak; Małgorzata Wieteska

Published: September 2020   Journal: Journal of Education, Health and Sport
The course of coronavirus disease in pregnant women is similar to that of other infected women. While most studies do exclude the presence of a vertical infection, there are reports of severe course of the disease and possible vertical infection. Patients with COVID-19 may be more prone to premature delivery, however, to confirm this thesis, it is necessary to examine a larger number of pregnant women.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 103-110 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: pregnant women, women's health, COVID-19
Perinatal mental health in Kashmir, India during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Sheikh Shoib; S. M. Yasir Arafat; Waleed Ahmad

Published: September 2020   Journal: Maternal and Child Health Journal
The current COVID-19 pandemic in Kashmir along with lockdown measures—ordered to prevent the spread of the disease—has added further trauma to the fragile mental health system in Kashmir. There may be unquantifiable repercussions of the current epidemic on the emotional status of women during the perinatal period. There are numerous challenges in the perinatal period arising out of COVID-19 directly or indirectly because of lockdown measures that has been put in place to prevent the spread of disease.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 2 | Language: English | Topics: Mental Health | Tags: mental stress, women's health | Countries: India
Periods in a pandemic
Institution: Plan International
Published: August 2020

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are the first line of defence against COVID-19. It’s widely recognised that access to clean, running water and soap for handwashing is a critical need that must be met in  our global response to the pandemic, however there are other essential aspects of WASH that should not be forgotten at this time.  On any single day during this health emergency, 800 million diverse women and girls are menstruating and grappling with the unique challenges of doing so in a global pandemic. This report looks at how the current implications of COVID-19 is exacerbating key challenges for people who menstruate around the world and  provides recommendations on how to include menstrual hygiene management (MHM) within  a COVID-19 response. 

COVID-19 Pandemic through a gender lens
Institution: The World Bank
Published: June 2020
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to disruptions of both social and economic activities across the globe. While the early narrative described COVID-19 as the "great equalizer," asserting that the virus is capable of infecting anyone, it is critical for policymakers to understand that the impacts of COVID-19 will not be the same for everyone. Experience from previous epidemics suggest that COVID-19 will impact groups who are most vulnerable and amplify any existing inequalities across countries, communities, households and individuals. This note focuses on the existing gender inequalities in the economic sphere in Sub-Saharan Africa and summarizes how the COVID-19  pandemic could affect women and girls disproportionately. It draws on impact evaluation research to showcase policy options to help build women's economic resilience and minimize any potential negative impacts during the pandemic and recovery.
The impact of COVID-19 on women
Institution: United Nations
Published: April 2020
Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex. This policy brief focuses on each of these issues in turn, exploring how women and girls’ lives are changing in the face of COVID19, and outlining suggested priority measures to accompany both the immediate response and longer-term recovery efforts.
CARE rapid gender analysis for COVID 19 East, Central and Southern Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Everjoy Mahuku; Kalkidan Lakew Yihun; Karl Deering (et al.)

Institution: CARE
Published: April 2020

Women and men, girls and boys, urban and rural populations in East, Central and Southern Africa are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Immediate impacts at the time of this research center around reduced income and access to basic needs due to government lockdowns, changing gender roles in households, and increased gender-based violence. The COVID-19 pandemic in East, Central and Southern Africa is currently exacerbating socio-economic issues, with women bearing the largest burden of caring for their families while also seeking to lead communities in prevention and adaptation. Gender-based inequality is extensive in the region. Women are at a higher risk for exposure to infection due to the fact that they are often the primary caregivers in the family and constitute most of frontline healthcare responders. Women and girls are at increased risk of violence during the COVID-19 period. Further, women are more likely to lose income as many are in the informal sector.

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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.