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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Assessing the damage: early evidence on impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on girls and women in Africa
Institution: The World Bank
Published: April 2022
At the onset of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there was global concern about the negative indirect impacts the crisis would have on girls and women and their human capital. Two years into the crisis, this brief summarizes the evidence to date on how the prediction of a shadow crisis has played out in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).The brief is intended as a call to action for policymakers, since available research sets off multiple alarm bells. It also proposes urgent policy responses. Evidence to date confirms that the COVID-19 crisis has had profound negative impacts on the education, health, employment and empowerment of girls and women including in SSA. Available data is still limited, but what is known to date suggests that we are seeing the tip of an iceberg. Many impacts will have long term repercussions for girls’ and women’s human capital. Decision makers are at a pivotal moment to invest now in women and girls, to neutralize immediate but also prolonged costs to individuals, societies and economies.
Association between risk perception and influenza vaccine hesitancy for children among reproductive women in China during the COVID-19 pandemic: a national online survey

AUTHOR(S)
Liyuan Tao; Min Du; Jue Liu (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

In China, the national prevalence of parental influenza vaccine hesitancy (IVH) during the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and the association between risk perception and parental IVH are still unclear. This study aimed to explore the association between risk perception and IVH for children among reproductive women in China, a poorly studied area. From December 14, 2020, to January 31, 2021, we conducted a national anonymous online survey on IVH for children among reproductive women in China. We assessed risk perception including perceived susceptibility, severity, barriers, and benefits using the Health Belief Model and then classified each variable into three groups based on tertiles. Logistic regression models were used to calculate the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of risk perception related to vaccine hesitancy after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, health status, and knowledge of influenza, among other factors. Additionally, subgroup analysis was performed.

Analysis of the health, economic and environmental impacts of COVID-19: The Bangladesh perspective

AUTHOR(S)
Sneh Gautama; Shamsunnahar Setu; Mohd Golam Quader Khan (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Geosystems and Geoenvironment
Although COVID-19 has given an opportunity to the earth to restore her ecosystem, its role in bringing changes in every sector including social, economic, agricultural, industrial, education and health is enormous. The study was conducted to assess the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 in Bangladesh by collecting data from different sources. The result depicted that during the first wave of COVID-19, the detection rate was less than 5%, exceeding almost 30% after detecting the deadlier Indian variant where 65% of the death is noticed by the people older than 50 years. Among all the frontline service providers during Covid, the highest rate of death was observed for doctors in Bangladesh. This study also discussed the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and found that women faced more depression and anxiety than men as well as 43% of children had subthreshold mental disturbances. Three-fourths of the adolescents have been distressed with household stress during the pandemic. Women and girls have encountered increased domestic violence whereas early marriages dropped out many rural girls from education. Decreasing remittance from non-residents and shutting down of RMG industry resulted loss of job and have badly affected economic section. Almost 20 million workers lost their jobs in Bangladesh from the informal sector. Moreover, the healthcare workers who have treated the corona virus patients have been socially stigmatized due to the fear of infection. Corona Virus has jeopardized the agriculture sector and 66 % farmers (53% crop and vegetables, 99% fish farmers) got lower price than they used to get in a normal situation.
Effects of COVID-19 on maternal, child healthcare (MCH) services in slums: lessons from India

AUTHOR(S)
S. Agarwal; K. Kothiwal; S. Verma (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: European Journal of Public Health

The study aims to understand the effect of COVID lockdown on MCH for slum dwellers and coping mechanisms adopted in Indore and Agra, India. Slum women's perspectives on seeking, delaying, avoiding healthcare in COVID-19, barriers and facilitators were explored. In-person qualitative interviews were conducted in slums in Sept-Oct 2020 with mothers who had deliveries; pregnant women needing ante-natal care; mothers with children <2 yrs needing immunization during COVID lockdown. 30 mothers requiring these MCH services during April -June 2020 (lockdown phase) were interviewed.

Tracking the impact of COVID-19 on adolescent girls in Kenya : special edition COVID-19 barometer
Institution: *UNICEF, Shujaaz Inc.
Published: August 2021

One of the objectives of this collaboration is to produce a range of youth-led, data-driven research products, providing insight into the most effective ways to support young people in East Africa. This special edition Barometer is designed to provide a snapshot into the lives of Kenyan girls aged 15-19 (also referred to as adolescent girls) in 2021. This edition of COVID-19 Barometer includes new insights from Shujaaz Inc’s annual national youth survey, which draws on face-to-face interviews with 2,015 young people conducted between December 2020 and January 2021. Drawing on additional qualitative research, the Barometer aims to provide an update on the challenges, lifestyles, priorities and aspirations of adolescent girls, during a turbulent pandemic. This edition focuses on key topics including education, sexual and reproductive health, financial security, mental wellbeing and resilience. We hope it provides a valuable update for organisations working with adolescent girls across Kenya, and inspiration for similar research in East and Southern African countries.

Neural responses to social reward predict depressive symptoms in adolescent girls during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Stefanie L. Sequeira; Jennifer S. Silk; Emily Hutchinson (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Psychology

Adolescent depression is increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic, possibly related to dramatic social changes. Individual-level factors that contribute to social functioning, such as temperament and neural reactivity to social feedback, may confer risk for or resilience against depressive symptoms during the pandemic. Ninety-three girls (12–17 years) oversampled for high shy/fearful temperament were recruited from a longitudinal study for a follow-up COVID-19 study. During the parent study (2016–2018), participants completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging task eliciting neural activity to performance-related social feedback. Depressive symptoms were assessed during the parent study and COVID-19 follow-up (April–May 2020).

A study on the impact of COV1D-19 on women and girls in Ethiopia
Institution: CARE
Published: June 2021
By August 9, 2021, Ethiopia had reported more than 284,000 COVID-19 cases and 4,426 deaths. Since COVID-19 was first reported in Ethiopia in March of 2021, the impacts of the pandemic, the measures taken to curb COVID-19, and additional political, economic, and environmental crises have severely impacted the population.
Women and girls bear different burdens in this crisis, and emergency responses often overlook the differences in impacts and needs for women, girls, men, and boys in humanitarian responses. To that end, this research— with funding from the EUTF (European Union Emergency Trust Fund) provides insight into the impact of COV1D-19 on women and girls in Ethiopia. The quantitative surveys covered adult women and girls over the age of 15. It also provides insights into the differences between refugees, Internally Displaced People (IDPs), refugees, and migrants. Qualitative from focus group discussions and key informant interviews also reflects opinions from men and boys.
Double burden of malnutrition among women of reproductive age in 55 low- and middle-income countries: progress achieved and opportunities for meeting the global target

AUTHOR(S)
Md. Mehedi Hasan; Saifuddin Ahmed; ● Ricardo J. Soares Magalhaes (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

The aim of this study is to examine trends and projections of underweight (Body Mass Index, BMI < 18.5 kg/m2) and overweight (BMI ≥ 25.0 kg/m2) in women of reproductive age in 55 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It used data from 2,337,855 women aged 15–49 years from nationally representative Demographic and Health Survey conducted between 1990 and 2018. Bayesian linear regression analyses were performed.

Anxiety, post-traumatic stress symptoms, and emotion regulation: a longitudinal study of pregnant women having given birth during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
V. Gonzalez-Garcia; M. Exertier; A. Denis

Published: April 2021   Journal: European Journal of Trauma & Dissociation
The objectives of the present longitudinal study were to (i) understand the potential impacts of concern about the COVID-19 epidemic and containment measures (e.g. lockdown) on the psychological and emotional status of women during pregnancy and after childbirth, (ii) identify factors associated with these impacts, and (iii) to study the mothers’ coping strategies and protective factors. Data were collected during pregnancy (timepoint 1, during France's first period of lockdown from April 6th to May 11th, 2020) and then one month after childbirth (timepoint 2).
Receiving maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic: experiences of women's partners and support persons

AUTHOR(S)
Vidanka Vasilevski; Linda Sweet; Zoe Bradfield (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Women and Birth

In Australia, the provision of maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic was significantly altered to limit transmission of the virus. Many hospitals limited face-to-face appointments to only the pregnant woman and restricted the number of support people present during labour, birth, and postnatal visits to one person. How these restrictions were experienced by partners and support persons of childbearing women are unknown. This srticle aims to explore the experiences of partners and support persons of women receiving maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2019-nCOV distress and depressive, anxiety and OCD-type, and eating disorder symptoms among postpartum and control women

AUTHOR(S)
Katherine A. Thompson; Anna M. Bardone‑Cone

Published: March 2021
This study compared postpartum and control women on depressive, anxiety, and OCD-type symptoms, and eating disorder symptoms during the 2019-nCOV pandemic and evaluated if associations between 2019-nCOV distress and these mental health symptoms differed for postpartum compared to control women. A community sample of women, ages 18–39, who had either given birth in the past 12 months (n = 232) or had no pregnancy history (n = 137; controls), was recruited to complete an online survey about their depressive, anxiety, OCD, and eating disorder symptoms. Postpartum women reported greater OCD-type symptoms related to concerns about both contamination and responsibility for harm (ps < .05) compared to controls.
The COVID‐19 pandemic: a first‐year review through the lens of IJGO

AUTHOR(S)
Sophie Maprayil; Amy Goggins; Francis Harris

Published: March 2021   Journal: International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics
A policy brief for UN Women on the impact of COVID‐19 on women has noted that, across the board, the impacts of COVID‐19 are exacerbated for women and girls. The health of women in general has been adversely affected, with resources being reallocated in the emergency response to COVID‐19 and frequently leading to the suspension or limitation of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health (RMNCH) services. The UN Women brief also paints a stark picture in terms of gender‐based violence, noting that as the pandemic deepens both social and economic stress, coupled with restricted movement and social isolation measures, many women have been forced to isolate with their abusers, a situation which has coincided with disruption or lack of access to the support services which they so desperately need. The UNFPA have predicted that the pandemic is also likely to cause significant delays to programs dedicated to preventing child marriage and female genital mutilation; the estimated projections are stark, with over 2 million more cases of FGM and 13 million more child marriages over the next 10 years than would otherwise have occurred. As the official journal of the International Federation for Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), IJGO is a major source for global cutting‐edge research and reports on issues affecting women's health, as well as addressing economic, social, and human rights issues.
Digital health literacy intervention to support maternal, child and family health in primary healthcare settings of Pakistan during the age of coronavirus: study protocol for a randomised controlled trialhttps://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/11/3/e045163

AUTHOR(S)
Sara Rizvi Jafree; Nadia Bukhari; Anam Muzamill (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: BMJ Open
There is a need to continue primary healthcare services through digital communication for disadvantaged women living in underdeveloped areas of Pakistan, especially in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, social distancing and lockdown of communities. This project will be the first of its kind in aiming to implement a digital health literacy intervention, using smartphone and internet, to disadvantaged women through female community healthcare workers. Improved health literacy in women of reproductive years is known to promote maternal, child and family health overall. Methods and analysis The study will include a baseline survey, a pre- and post-test survey and a 3-month lasting intervention on (1) hygiene and prevention and (2) coronavirus awareness and prevention.
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.
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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.