More than 10.5 million children worldwide have lost parents or caregivers, and 7.5 million-plus have lost one or both parents from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study by JAMA Pediatrics.
The sobering statistics are far above previous estimates and still climbing.
And they could underscore potentially devastating, long-term consequences for children, including “institutionalization, abuse, traumatic grief, mental health problems, adolescent pregnancy, poor educational outcomes, and chronic and infectious diseases.”
The researchers found significant variation in their modeling, with greater numbers of children becoming orphaned by the loss of primary and/or secondary caregivers in Africa, at 24.3 percent, and Southeast Asia, 40.6 percent, compared with the Americas, 14 percent; Eastern Mediterranean, 14.6 percent; European, 4.7 percent; and Western Pacific, 1.8 percent, regions through May 1. (UPI)