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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Towards prevention of COVID‐19 among children in Ghana: parents’ views about children wearing nose masks in public gatherings

AUTHOR(S)
Fred Yao Gbagbo; Rosemary Quarcoo

Published: June 2022   Journal: Public Health in Practice

The authors examined parents’ views about children nose-masking in public gatherings in Ghana between January and May 2021. This is exploratory sequential mixed methods study comprising qualitative and quantitative components. Four hundred and thirty-nine parents were interviewed using author-developed structured questionnaires and interview guides in a public University in Ghana. Ten respondents in the company of at least three children and of high academic status were further interviewed in-depth to obtain some qualitative information on the research topic. All interviews were conducted in English. Quantitative data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20 whiles qualitative data were analyzed thematically.

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.

Impact of Covid-19 on maternal health seeking in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Patrick Opoku Asuming; Deborah Aba Gaisie; Caesar Agula (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Journal of International Development
The Covid-19 pandemic is widely speculated to have disrupted the delivery of primary health care in low-income countries. Yet, there is little rigorous empirical research identifying this effect. This paper estimates the impact of Covid-19 on facility and skilled delivery and utilisation of antenatal care (ANC) services by comparing these outcomes for women who were pregnant/delivered before and during the Covid-19 period. The results show that Covid-19 led to 23% and 25% reductions, respectively, in the likelihood of facility delivery and four or more ANC visits during pregnancy. These findings highlight the need to build more resilient health systems in low-income settings.
Covid-19 and school closure: examining the impact on private mid-range and low-fee private basic schools in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Lordina Juvenile Ehwi; Richmond Juvenile Ehwi

Published: December 2021   Journal: Prospects
The Covid-19 lockdown implemented globally to prevent the spread of the virus has led to the closure of schools. However, insight into the impact of the lockdown on private schools and the responses it has elicited is limited, especially across the African continent. This article examines the impact of the lockdown on private basic schools in Ghana and how they responded to the closure. Following “organizational ambidexterity” and qualitative interviews with nine proprietors of private schools in Ghana, the study found that the schools’ closure had a negative impact on private basic schools in five crucial ways: disruption to teaching and learning, difficulty in retrieving unpaid teaching fees, inability to pay staff salaries and statutory payments, underutilization of existing assets, and the cost of storing unused stock. The article offers suggestions to the government to support private schools that are broadening educational access at thin profit margins.
Decline in uptake of childhood vaccinations in a tertiary hospital in Northern Ghana during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kingsley Appiah Bimpong; Benjamin Demah Nuertey; Anwar Sadat Seidu (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: BioMed Research International
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, early modelling studies estimated a reduction in childhood vaccinations in low- and middle-income countries. Regular provision of both curative and preventive services such as antenatal care and childhood immunizations has been negatively affected since the onset of the pandemic. This study was aimed at examining the impact that the pandemic had on childhood vaccination services at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH). A mixed methods study design was employed for the study, which was conducted at the Child Welfare Clinic (CWC) of the TTH.
‘I don’t think anyone thinks of us’: experiences of teenage head porters amidst COVID-19 in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Crispin Rakibu Mbamba; Ignatus Kpobi Ndemole; Madinatu Sarah Hassan (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies
In Ghana, a population of teenage head porters have made the streets their sole living and breathing space. They are faced with several challenges as they live and work on the streets. The era of COVID-19 amidst several safety protocols that should be followed including maintaining physical and social distance as well as reducing movements appears to be detrimental to the survival patterns of teenager head porters as they live and work on the streets. Consequently, the study explores the experiences of teenage head porters in the wake of the pandemic to draw practice implications. Evidence was collected using semi-structured qualitative interviews with 20 teenage head porters in Kumasi, Ghana. Narratives were analyzed thematically using reflective thematic analysis procedures. The study identified Kinship neglect and high exposure to infection as over-arching challenges experienced by teenage head porters on the streets amidst COVID-19.
COVID-19 in Ghana: challenges and countermeasures for maternal health service delivery in public health facilities

AUTHOR(S)
Faith Agbozo; Albrecht Jahn

Published: July 2021   Journal: Reproductive Health
This study provides a situational update on COVID-19 in Ghana, the seventh African country reporting the most cases. Some modifications occurring within the health system to curtail the outbreak and its potential impact on the delivery of antenatal care services are also highlighted. With the discovery of the Delta variant in Ghana, the current attention is to prevent a third wave of infection, and also control and manage existing cases. Efforts to procure vaccines, vaccinate special populations and sensitize the public on the implications of vaccine hesitancy are ongoing.
Knowledge and preventive practices towards COVID-19 among pregnant women seeking antenatal services in Northern Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Maxwell Tii Kumbeni; Paschal Awingura Apanga; Eugene Osei Yeboah (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Plos One
COVID-19 is a novel respiratory disease associated with severe morbidity and high mortality in the elderly population and people with comorbidities. Studies have suggested that pregnant women are more susceptible to COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant women. However, it’s unclear whether pregnant women in Ghana are knowledgeable about COVID-19 and practice preventive measures against it. This study sought to assess the knowledge and preventive practices towards COVID-19 among pregnant women seeking antenatal services in Northern Ghana
Decrease in admissions and change in the diagnostic landscape in a newborn care unit in Northern Ghana during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Alhassan Abdul-Mumin; Cesia Cotache-Condor; Kingsley Appiah Bimpong (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Pediatrics
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has spread worldwide with an increasing number of patients, including pregnant women and neonates. This study aims to evaluate morbidity and mortality in the COVID-19 era compared to the preceding year in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Tamale Teaching Hospital, Ghana. This is a cross-sectional study carried out on neonates admitted to NICU between March 1st to August 31st, 2019 (pre-COVID-19 era) and March 1st to August 31st, 2020 (COVID-19 era). Multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify predictors of mortality for both periods.
Using educational transitions to estimate learning loss due to COVID-19 school closures: the case of Complementary basic education in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Ricardo Sabates; Emma Carter; Jonathan M. B. Stern

Published: March 2021   Journal: International Journal of Educational Development
Learning loss is expected for millions of children who have been out of school as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, it is uncertain how much learning will be lost and how wide the gaps may be for disadvantaged children. This paper uses a unique longitudinal dataset to estimate learning loss during a three-month transition from Complementary Basic Education to government schools in Ghana.
Adherence to COVID‐19 preventive measures and associated factors among pregnant women in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Paschal Awingura Apanga; Maxwell Tii Kumbeni

Published: February 2021   Journal: Tropical Medicine & International Health
This article aimed to assess adherence to COVID‐19 preventive measures and its associated factors among pregnant women in Ghana. This was a cross‐sectional study conducted in the Nabdam district, Ghana. Data were collected from 527 pregnant women randomly selected from antenatal care clinics from 16 healthcare facilities. Descriptive statistics were used to assess the prevalence of adherence to COVID‐19 preventive measures. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the factors associated with COVID‐19 preventive measures, whilst adjusting for potential confounders.
The impact of COVID-19 on children from poor families in Ghana and the role of welfare institutions

AUTHOR(S)
Lorretta Domfeh Owusu; Kwabena Frimpong-Manso

Published: October 2020   Journal: Journal of Children's Services
This paper is focused on answering the following questions: How are poor families surviving in this era of COVID-19? What is life for children from poor families? What has become of their reality? To understand the realities of poor families and children during COVID-19, specifically in Ghana, this paper aims to analyze how COVID-19 has affected children from poor families in Ghana and how welfare institutions can work to provide rapid help to such families.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on deaf adults, children and their families in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Ruth Swanwick; Alexander M. Oppong; Yaw N. Offei (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: Journal of the British Academy
This paper investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on deaf adults, children, and their families in Ghana, focusing on issues of inclusion. It asks what it takes to ‘make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ (United Nations Strategic Development Goal 11) for deaf people in the context of the global pandemic in a low-resource context. The exceptional challenge to inclusion posed by COVID-19 is examined in terms of issues for deaf children and their families, and from the point of view of deaf adults in advocacy and support organisations.
Contextualising the link between adolescents’ use of digital technology and their mental health: a multi‐country study of time spent online and life satisfaction
Published: July 2020   Journal: The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Evidence on whether the amount of time children spend online affects their mental health is mixed. There may be both benefits and risks. Yet, almost all published research on this topic is from high‐income countries. This paper presents new findings across four countries of varying wealth.

We analyse data gathered through the Global Kids Online project from nationally representative samples of Internet‐using children aged 9 to 17 years in Bulgaria (n  = 1,000), Chile (n  = 1,000), Ghana (n  = 2,060) and the Philippines (n  = 1,873). Data was gathered on Internet usage on week and weekend days. Measures of absolute (comparable across countries) and relative (compared to other children within countries) time use were constructed. Mental health was measured by Cantril’s ladder (life satisfaction). The analysis also considers the relative explanatory power on variations in mental health of children’s relationships with family and friends. Analysis controlled for age, gender and family socioeconomic status.

In Bulgaria and Chile, higher‐frequency Internet use is weakly associated with lower life satisfaction. In Ghana and the Philippines, no such pattern was observed. There was no evidence that the relationship between frequency of Internet use and life satisfaction differed by gender. In all four countries, the quality of children’s close relationships showed a much stronger relationship with their life satisfaction than did time spent on the Internet.

Time spent on the Internet does not appear to be strongly linked to children’s life satisfaction, and results from one country should not be assumed to transfer to another. Improving the quality of children’s close relationships offers a more fruitful area for intervention than restricting their time online. Future research could consider a wider range of countries and links between the nature, rather than quantity, of Internet usage and mental health.

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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.