A global study estimates that between 1 March 2020 and 30 April 2021 a total of 1 134 000 children experienced the death of primary caregivers, including at least one parent or custodial grandparent, due to Covid-19.
In addition, the study – by a team of researchers at the University of Cape Town (UCT) – went on to find that about 1 562 000 children experienced the death of at least one primary or secondary caregiver.
This was revealed in a research article titled Global minimum estimates of children affected by Covid-19-associated orphanhood and deaths of caregivers: a modelling study” published in The Lancet in July 2021.
“Because most Covid-19 deaths occur among adults, not children, attention has been focused, understandably, on adults.
“However, a tragic consequence of high numbers of adult deaths is that high numbers of children might lose their parents and caregivers to Covid-19, as occurred during the HIV/AIDS, Ebola and 1918 influenza epidemics. Our goal is to shine a bright light on this urgent and overlooked consequence that is harmful for children,” the 12-page study read.
The findings emanated from the method of using mortality and fertility data to model minimum estimates and rates of Covid-19-related deaths of primary or secondary caregivers for children younger than 18 years in 21 countries.
The research has a 95% credible interval.
The results of the study further showed that by April 2021 South Africa was one of the countries with the highest number of children losing primary caregivers.
“Countries with at least one child per 1 000 children experiencing Covid-19-associated deaths among primary caregivers were Peru, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Iran, the USA, Argentina, and Russia, with rates ranging from 10.2 in Peru to 1.0 in Russia.
43,000 Children in the US Have Lost a Parent to COVID-19
43,000 Children in the U.S. Have Lost a Parent to COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unimaginable sorrow in the United States, leaving holes in families nationwide. . Children under the age of 17 make up a large portion of that grieving po…
The study read:Rates of children losing primary or secondary caregivers were highest in Peru (14.1 per 1 000 children), South Africa (6.4), and Mexico (5.1).
According to the researchers, the data suggested that from 1 March 2020 to 30 April 2021 the Covid-19 pandemic left at least 1 134 000 children affected by the Covid-19-related death of their mothers, fathers or custodial grandparents.
In addition, of the above total, 1 042 000 were orphaned.
“More than 1.5 million children experienced [the] death of their parents, custodial grandparents, or grandparents or kin who lived with them,” the study revealed.
The researchers recommended that as the Covid-19 pandemic continues, multilateral organisations and national and local governments need to incorporate evidence-based programmes into their response plans to address the impact of caregiver Covid-19-related deaths on children.
“Now is the time to focus on a group that will continue to grow as the pandemic progresses: the more than 1 million children who have lost a parent and another half a million children who have lost a grandparent caregiver living in their own home.
“These unnamed children are the tragic overlooked consequence of the millions of pandemic dead,” the study read.
Source: News 24