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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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A preparedness model for mother–baby linked longitudinal surveillance for emerging threats
Published: January 2021   Journal: Maternal and Child Health Journal

Public health responses often lack the infrastructure to capture the impact of public health emergencies on pregnant women and infants, with limited mechanisms for linking pregnant women with their infants nationally to monitor long-term effects. In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in close collaboration with state, local, and territorial health departments, began a 5-year initiative to establish population-based mother–baby linked longitudinal surveillance, the Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies Network (SET-NET). The objective of this report is to describe an expanded surveillance approach that leverages and modernizes existing surveillance systems to address the impact of emerging health threats during pregnancy on pregnant women and their infants.

“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.
The changing aspects of motherhood in face of the COVID-19 pandemic in low- and middle-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
Jennifer Prince Kingsley; Paul Kingsley Vijay; Jacob Kumaresan (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Maternal and Child Health Journal
The aim of this article is to advocate perspectives to strengthen existing healthcare systems to prioritize maternal health services amidst and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic in low- and middle income countries. COVID-19 directly affects pregnant women causing more severe disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes. The indirect effects due to the monumental COVID-19 response are much worse, increasing maternal and neonatal mortality.
Covid-19 pandemic impact on maternal and child health services access in Nampula, Mozambique: a mixed methods research

AUTHOR(S)
Paulo das Neves Pires; Cynthia Macaringue; Ahmed Abdirazak (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: BMC Health Services Research
The Covid-19 pandemic limited access to health services in most countries, impacting negatively global health. Last March 2020 in Mozambique, a public state of emergency restrained people’s movements, reduced public services, and launched a national information campaign. The Alert Community for a Prepared Hospital implementation research, has been promoting access to maternal and child health care, at Marrere General Hospital and Marrere Health Centre, in Natikiri, Nampula, the city with the third highest incidence of Covid-19 in Mozambique. This research aimed to assess the impact of Covid-19 on access to maternal and children health services in Nampula and estimate Alert Community for a Prepared Hospital project sustainability.
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. 
COVID-19’s impact on HIV vertical transmission services reversed
Institution: UNAIDS - The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS
Published: October 2020
Recent data collection has shown that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on HIV testing services but the impact on HIV treatment has been less than originally feared. The impact on services for the prevention of vertical transmission of HIV (from mother to child) is mixed—by April, countries generally saw a decline in the number of women tested for HIV at their first antenatal clinic visit, but by June that decline had been reversed.
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.
The impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on the experiences and feeding practices of new mothers in the UK: preliminary data from the COVID-19 New mum study

AUTHOR(S)
A. Vazquez-Vazquez ; S. Dib; J. C. Wells (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: Appetite
The COVID-19 New Mum Study is recording maternal experiences and infant feeding during the UK lockdown. This report from week 1 of the survey describes and compares the delivery and post-natal experiences of women who delivered before the lockdown versus during the lockdown.
Early indirect impact of COVID-19 pandemic on utilization and outcomes of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Duncan Shikuku; Irene Nyaoke; Sylvia Gichuru (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: MedRxiv
The COVID-19 global pandemic is expected to result in 8.3-38.6% additional maternal deaths in many low-income countries. The objective of this paper was to determine the initial impact of COVID-19 pandemic on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) services in Kenya.
Building resilient societies after COVID-19: the case for investing in maternal, neonatal, and child health

AUTHOR(S)
Chandni Maria Jacob; Despina D. Briana; Gian Carlo Di Renzo (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: The Lancet Public Health
This study indicates clearly that a focus on maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH) will promote later resilience. This knowledge offers an unprecedented opportunity to disrupt entrenched strategies and to reinvest in MNCH in the post-COVID-19 so-called new normal. Furthermore, analysis of the short-term, medium-term, and longer-term consequences of previous socioeconomic shocks provides important insights into those domains of MNCH, such as neurocognitive development and nutrition, for which investment will generate the greatest benefit. Such considerations apply to high-income countries (HICs) and low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, implementing appropriate policies in the post-COVID-19 recovery period will be challenging and requires political commitment and public engagement.
Safeguarding children's right to health in hospital during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Jennifer McIntosh; Montserrat Esquerda Aresté; Joe Brierley (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health
Children's hospitals have long been advocates of a rights-based approach to health care and will be crucial for ensuring that the rights of children are protected during future COVID-19 surges.
A surveillance system for the maternal and child health (MCH) population during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Veronica B. Ajewole; Ahone E. Ngujede; Emmanuella Oduguwa (et al.)

Published: August 2020   Journal: International Journal of MCH and AIDS
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and its ensuing mitigation measures have negatively affected the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) population. There is currently no surveillance system established to enhance our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to guide policy decision making to protect the MCH population in this pandemic. Based on reports of community and household spread of this novel infection, this study presents an approach to a robust family-centered surveillance system for the MCH population. The surveillance system encapsulates data at the individual and community levels to inform stakeholders, policy makers, health officials and the general public about SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics within the MCH population.
International comparison of guidelines for managing neonates at the early phase of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Anna Lavizzari; Claus Klingenberg; Jochen Profit (et al.)

Published: June 2020   Journal: Pediatric Research

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens global newborn health. This paper describes the current state of national and local protocols for managing neonates born to SARS-CoV-2-positive mothers. Care providers from neonatal intensive care units on six continents exchanged and compared protocols on the management of neonates born to SARS-CoV-2-positive mothers. Data collection was between March 14 and 21, 2020. The study is focused on central protocol components, including triaging, hygiene precautions, management at delivery, feeding protocols, and visiting policies.

A wake-up call: COVID-19 and its impact on children's health and wellbeing.

AUTHOR(S)
Henrietta H. Fore

Institution: The Lancet
Published: May 2020   Journal: The Lancet Global Health
As cases of COVID-19 surge worldwide and threaten to overwhelm life-saving health services, the survival of mothers and children is at great risk. Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, highlights the risks for maternal and child health in low- and middle-income countries if essential health services are disrupted as a result of COVID-19.
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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.