FRIDAY, Feb. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — From April 30 to October 31, 2021, there was a 90.0% increase in the number of children affected by orphanage and caregiver deaths associated with COVID-19 by compared to the number during March 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021, according to a study published online February 24 in The Lancet Child and adolescent health.
H. Juliette T. Unwin, Ph.D., of Imperial College London, and colleagues modeled the increase in the number of children affected by orphanage associated with COVID-19 (defined as the death of one or both parents) and the death of the caregiver using an update of the excess mortality and fertility data to include the new period of May 1 to October 31, 2021, after the initial study period of the March 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021.
The researchers found that from April 30 to October 31, 2021, there was an estimated 90.0% increase in the number of children affected by orphanage and caregiver deaths associated with COVID-19 (from 2,737,300 to 5,200,300). From March 1, 2020 to October 31, 2021, the number of orphans associated with COVID-19 was estimated at 491,300 children aged 0-4 years, 736,800 children aged 5-9 years and 2,146,700 children aged 10 at 17 years old. Globally, 76.5 and 23.5% of children who lost a caregiver were fatherless and motherless, respectively. The prevalence of paternal orphanage exceeded that of maternal orphanage in every age group and region.
“Support for orphaned children must be immediately integrated into every national COVID-19 response plan,” a co-author said in a statement.
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