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Priscilla Idele

Deputy Director

Priscilla Idele is Deputy Director of the UNICEF’s Office of Research-Innocenti in Florence, Italy. She is a demographer and a public health specialist with expertise in monitoring and evaluation of health, HIV/AIDS, child protection and development, and social protection programmes. Prior to the current position, she was the Chief of Data Analysis Unit at UNICEF New York, in which she led and provided oversight for global monitoring and reporting on health, HIV/AIDS and related child protection and development commitments for children and women. Prior to UNICEF, Dr Idele worked as a Strategic Information Adviser for PEPFAR in Tanzania and the USAID-funded MEASURE Evaluation Project in the USA. Dr Idele has extensive experience working in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Latin America, North America and Europe. She is a recipient of the International AIDS Society (IAS) Prize for Excellence in research related to children. She holds a Ph.D in Social Statistics from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom.
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The initial impression that paediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection is uncommon and generally mild has been replaced by a more nuanced understanding of infectious manifestations in children and adolescents across low-, middle-, and high-income countries and by demographic structure, with recognition of a widening disease spectrum. Critical knowledge gaps, especially in low- and middle-income countries remain, that have significant public policy and programme implications. Insufficient data disaggregated by age, geography and race/ethnicity are hindering efforts to fully assess prevalence of infection and disease in children and adolescents and their role in transmission. Potential biologic differences in susceptibility to infection and between children and adults need to be assessed. Determination of mother-to-child SARS-CoV-2 transmission during pregnancy or peripartum requires appropriate samples obtained with proper timing, lacking in most studies. Finally, predictors of disease progression, morbidity and mortality in children need to be determined particularly as the pandemic moves to low- and middle-income countries, where poor nutritional and health conditions and other vulnerabilities are more frequent among children than in higher-income settings. Countries, UN agencies, public health communities, donors and academia need to coordinate the efforts and work collectively to close the data and knowledge gaps in all countries (high-, middle- and low-income) for better evidence to guide policy and programme decision-making for children and COVID-19 disease.


Priscilla Idele; David Anthony; Lynne M Mofenson; Jennifer Requejo; Danzhen You; Chewe Luo; Stefan Peterson



COVID-19 may pose greater risk to children than originally thought (21 Jul 2020)

It is commonly accepted, at least for now, that children and adolescents (0-19 years) have been largely spared the direct epidemiological ef ...

COVID-19 may pose greater risk to children than originally thought (15 Jul 2020)

It is commonly accepted, at least for now, that children and adolescents (0-19 years) have been largely spared the direct epidemiological ef ...



Developing a Household Survey Instrument on Social Protection

MICS Methodological Papers are intended to facilitate exchange of knowledge and to stimulate discussion on the methodological issues related to the collection, analysis, and dissemination of MICS data; in particular, the papers document the background methodological work undertaken for the development of new MICS indicators, modules, and analyses. The findings, interpretation and conclusions do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of UNICEF.

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Smart Social Development Key for Smart African Cities

This chapter focuses on the Social Development dimensions of smart cities, composed of elements of health and education. Healthy workers are more productive, and bring greater income to families and higher levels of economic growth for nations, and, in turn, enhance smart economy. First the chapter focuses on health considering that a healthy population is critical to realizing any social and economic development. Then the chapter concentrates on Education, which is critical to meeting the challenges of smart city, as it connects people to new approaches, solutions and technologies that enable them to identify, clarify and tackle local and global problems. When education and health are combined, undoubtedly they contribute significantly to human development. In both these critical dimensions, African cities have made significant progress during these past twenty years, and continue to do so as we progress through the 21st century.

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