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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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Maternal and newborn care during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya: re-contextualizing the community midwifery model

AUTHOR(S)
Rachel Wangari Kimani; Rose Maina; Constance Shumba (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Human Resources for Health
Peripartum deaths remain significantly high in low- and middle-income countries, including Kenya. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted essential services, which could lead to an increase in maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. Furthermore, the lockdowns, curfews, and increased risk for contracting COVID-19 may affect how women access health facilities. SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that requires a community-centred response, not just hospital-based interventions. In this prolonged health crisis, pregnant women deserve a safe and humanised birth that prioritises the physical and emotional safety of the mother and the baby. There is an urgent need for innovative strategies to prevent the deterioration of maternal and child outcomes in an already strained health system. 
Reorienting nurturing care for early childhood development during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya: a review

AUTHOR(S)
Constance Shumba; Rose Maina; Gladys Mbuthia (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
In Kenya, millions of children have limited access to nurturing care. With the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is anticipated that vulnerable children will bear the biggest brunt of the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic. This review aimed to deepen understanding of the effects of COVID-19 on nurturing care from conception to four years of age, a period where the care of children is often delivered through caregivers or other informal platforms. The review has drawn upon the empirical evidence from previous pandemics and epidemics, and anecdotal and emerging evidence from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Multifactorial impacts fall into five key domains: direct health; health and nutrition systems; economic protection; social and child protection; and child development and early learning. The review proposes program and policy strategies to guide the reorientation of nurturing care, prevent the detrimental effects associated with deteriorating nurturing care environments, and support the optimal development of the youngest and most vulnerable children. These include the provision of cash transfers and essential supplies for vulnerable households and strengthening of community-based platforms for nurturing care.
The promotion of positive mental health for new mothers during Covid-19

AUTHOR(S)
Kate Barlow

Published: October 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused increased hardship for new mothers and their young children. Increased isolation, lack of in-person doctor visits and decreased interaction within the community, has pregnant and postpartum women in need of additional support. Occupational therapists often work with infants and their mothers due to feeding concerns. Difficulty with early feeding adds additional stress on the mother–infant dyad relationship. This case study describes a mother’s traumatic experience giving birth during Covid-19 and the occupational therapy intervention provided to the mother–infant dyad. In order to improve outcomes for the mother and child with feeding concerns, this case study is a call to action for paediatric occupational therapy practitioners to include the promotion of positive mental health of mothers in their practice, particularly during the pandemic.
Investing in the early years during COVID-19
Institution: The World Bank
Published: April 2020
Young children need comprehensive nurturing care which includes good health, adequate nutrition, early learning opportunities, responsive caregiving, and safety and security. Severe, lifelong impacts can result from deprivations during the early years if children do not have these critical inputs to ensure optimal child development. The World Bank’s Investing in the Early Years framework lays out three pillars to ensure children reach their full potential: i. Children are healthy and well-nourished, especially in the first 1,000 days ii. Children receive early stimulation and learning opportunities and iii. Children are nurtured and protected from stress. In the following three pages, we set out specific risks that children face under each of these pillars due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis, together with response options, potential platforms and country examples. While health and nutrition are key elements of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency response and are more likely to be addressed immediately, empowering parents to provide warm and responsive caregiving and ensuring safety and security of young children and early learning opportunities for young children is essential and risks falling through the cracks.
Infant and young children feeding in the context of COVID-19
This brief is meant to provide information specific to infant and young child feeding (IYCF)in the context of COVID-19. This Brief does not cover wider mitigation and response measures available in other guidance. As a nutrition community, we will continue to develop our understanding on practical solutions to deliver programming in the context of COVID-19. Documenting and disseminating these lessons and emerging evidence will be key to implementing the most appropriate and effective responses in the face of this pandemic.
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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.