A new study estimates that at least 5.2 million children around the world have lost a parent or other caregiver to Covid-19 during the first 19 months of the pandemic.
“Children are suffering enormously and in need of care,” said Susan Hillis, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford and lead author of the study published in the medical journal The Lancet on Thursday. our help”.
The study was based on data from 20 countries, including India, the United States and Peru, and was completed by an international research team that included experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health and several colleges and universities.
It warns that a child has lost a parent or caregiver may be negatively affected including increased risk of poverty, sexual abuse, mental health challenges and severe stress.
An earlier study, focusing on the first 13 months of the pandemic, gave an estimate of 1.5 million won affected children. The new number is much higher not only because it adds another six months of data, but also because the first estimate is a remarkably low number, the researchers say. Using updated figures on Covid-related deaths, researchers now calculate that at least 2.7 million children lose a parent or caregiver in the first 13 months.
The new study included data through October 2021 and did not include the latest increase in cases from the Omicron variant, which certainly added to the amount.
Lorraine Sherr, professor of psychology at University College London and author: “It took 10 years for 5 million children to be orphaned, while the same number of children were orphaned by Covid-19 in just two years. of the study, said in a statement.
Davyon Johnson, 11, from Muskogee, Okla., is one of millions of children who have lost a parent – in her case, her father, Willie James Logan, who passed away two days after entering Covid hospital in August 2021.
“It’s a rocky road, I would say,” Davyon’s mother, LaToya Johnson, said in an interview.
Davyon has dealt with the pain in the best way possible, she said. His score is still high. He is still eager to meet his friends. Still, there are days when both are exhausted.
“Up and down – up and down,” Ms. Johnson said of their feelings. “He wanted to call his father but he couldn’t.”
Darcey Merritt, a professor of child welfare at New York University who was not involved in the study, said the deaths of parents and caregivers would have “far-reaching effects” on children, particularly are children in lower-income households.
Children of color in the United States are particularly at risk of negative consequences, she added.
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A study in the journal Pediatrics last year establish that in the United States, one in 168 American Indian or Alaska Native children, one in 310 black children, one in 412 Hispanic children Hispanic children and one in 612 Asian children lost a caregiver, compared with one in 753 white children. .
Research in the journal The Lancet shows that two in three orphans are between the ages of 10 and 17, and most orphans lose a father.
Juliette Unwin, the study’s lead author from Imperial College London, said in a statement that as researchers receive more data, they expect the figures to increase “by tenfold compared with those of the past. what is currently being reported”.
“The pandemic is still raging around the world,” said Dr Unwin, “which means that orphans related to Covid-19 will also continue to increase.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/us/children-parents-caregiver-covid-deaths.html More than 5 million children have lost caregivers to pandemic, study says