The ‘hidden pandemic of orphanhood’: An estimated 1.5 million children have lost a caregiver to COVID-19
A new study into the number of children who have lost caregivers to COVID-19 is the latest reminder that the pandemic’s impact will be felt for generations to come.
An estimated 1.5 million children across 21 countries have lost a parent or grandparent living with them to COVID-19 between March 2020 and May, according to a study published Tuesday. 4 year 2021.
The study’s authors, in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet, came up with that number using mortality and fertility data to model COVID-19 rates in relation to the loss of a parent or secondary caregiver living with a child.
The study was funded in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a branch of the National Institutes of Health. NIDA funded the study because of the strong link between the loss of a parent or secondary caregiver and increased substance use due to elevated levels of trauma.
“Studies like these play an important role in shedding light on the long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on families and the future mental health and well-being of children around the world. demand,” said NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow.
Children in South Africa, Peru, the United States, India, Brazil and Mexico have lost the most primary caregivers to COVID-19. The study’s authors identified primary caregivers as caring parents or grandparents.
“Deaths of orphans and carers is a potential pandemic of COVID-19 related deaths,” the study authors wrote. “Because COVID-19 can lead to death within weeks, families have little time to prepare children for the trauma they experience when a parent or caregiver dies.” .
They added that the institution of children losing a parent, which the researchers say is a common response even when one parent is still alive, “could lead to more developmental delays and abuse.” .” Other long-term consequences include a higher risk of mental health problems; physical, emotional and sexual violence; and poor families, the researchers said.
In every country, COVID-19-related death rates are higher among men than women, especially in middle age and older, the study adds, adding that “overall, the number of children who have lost a father 5 times more than children who have lost their mothers. . “
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even as more and more people are vaccinated around the world, the pandemic is not over, especially with the spread of the delta variant, which causes about 83% of new cases in the United States today Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
“[W]Charles Nelson, co-author of the study and director of research at the Center for Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, said.
Globally, about 4.1 million people have died from COVID-19 as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
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