A new study found that nearly a million children around the world have lost a parent to Covid 19, and a total of 1.5 million have lost either a parent, a grandparent who helped care for them, or some other relative responsible for their care.Dr. Susan Hillis of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Covid 19 Response Team, who worked on the study, said that the Covid 19 had created this urgent crisis affecting children in almost every nation.For every two Covid 19 deaths, one child faces the death of a parent or caregiver.
Researchers from the CDC, USAID, the World Bank, University College London, and elsewhere counted deaths in 21 countries that accounted for more than 76% of all Covid 19 cases. They used methods developed and validated years ago to estimate the number of children globally who would have been orphaned by AIDS to forecast the number of Covid 19 orphans.
Children losing primary caregivers have higher risks of experiencing mental health problems, physical, emotional, and sexual violence, and family poverty. These adverse experiences raise risks of suicide, adolescent pregnancy, infectious diseases, including HIV/ AIDS and chronic diseases.Researchers said that the grandparents are more important than might initially be evident. In the USA, 40% of grandparents living with grandchildren serve as their primary caregivers; in the UK, 40% of grandparents provide regular care for grandchildren.