Review Article
Volume 10 Issue 9 - 2021
Effect of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Wellbeing of Children and Young People in Sub-Saharan Africa
Osaro Erhabor1*, Erhabor T2, Adias TC3, Dangana A4 and Egenti BN5
1Faculty of Medical Laboratory Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria
2Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, Nigeria
3Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
4Department of Haematology, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria
5Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author: Osaro Erhabor, Professor, Faculty of Medical Laboratory Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria.
Received: May 24, 2021; Published: August 17, 2021




Abstract

SARS-COV-2 the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 pandemic first discovered in Wuhan China was declared a pandemic by the WHO March the 11th 2020. The pandemic has been associated with a number of challenges affecting a significant number of people globally, particularly children and young people living in sub-Saharan Africa. The Covid-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns, physical distancing, self-isolation and quarantine had a devasting effect on the wellbeing of children and young people. The challenges that these children and young people have had to face were innumerable; isolation from friends; compelled to stay longer with adults rather than with their peers (parents and guardians who most times do not seem to understand the peculiar needs of these children and who will often shout and moan over every challenging behaviour products of boredom and monotony), learning from home, sedentary lifestyle with less physical activity, worries that they, their family members or friends might get sick and die from the pandemic and worries that their parents may lose their jobs and may not be able to fend for them. It is critical for government of West Africa states to proactively harness information and data from schools, colleges, public, social health services and parents to enable them better understand the effect the Covid-19 pandemic has had on children and young people across the region to enable them offer the required support and interventions for this and future pandemics to ensure that recovery is maintained. There is need to develop a family-centred approach in caring for an infected family member to limit the spread of the disease to other family members including children and young people. There is also the need for labour market interventions aimed at providing protection and benefits for the unemployed, disabled and other vulnerable members of society. There is an urgent need for government of West African countries Mental health services particularly for children and young people across the to optimize the mental health serviced offered to children and young people. It is critical that government across the region put measures in place to ensure that children and young people continue to receive the mental health and wellbeing support that they deserve even in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 and future pandemics. There is an urgent need for government across the region to provide palliatives to help low-income individuals. Relaxation of the lockdown restrictions should be an opportunity for government across West Africa to create more opportunities for children and young people to engage in physical activity to improve on their physical, mental, psychological health and wellbeing.

Keywords: Covid-19 Pandemic; Wellbeing; Children; Young People; Sub-Saharan Africa

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Citation: Osaro Erhabor., et al. “Effect of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Wellbeing of Children and Young People in Sub-Saharan Africa”. EC Paediatrics 10.9 (2021): 27-37.

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