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Curr Trop Med Rep ; 8(3): 183-189, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1230305

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), continues to affect individuals, communities, and health systems worldwide. Here, we highlight how COVID-19 threatens to jeopardize the tremendous gains made over the last few decades on improving children's health globally. RECENT FINDINGS: In contrast to adults, children with COVID-19 are less likely to develop severe disease requiring hospitalization or die as a direct result of infection. However, the pandemic will likely have other important health impacts disproportionately affecting vulnerable children globally. Possible effects include worsening of poverty and food insecurity; disruption of already strained routine child health services; damage to already imperiled healthcare workforces; a wave of mental health challenges; interruption of education; and increased risks of violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect. These challenges notwithstanding, the response to COVID-19 may also provide opportunities, such as for health system strengthening, that could improve child health after the pandemic. SUMMARY: The negative impacts of COVID-19 on global child health may be substantial. However, these are not foregone conclusions and much can be done to mitigate the worst outcomes. Child health providers should advocate for an equitable response to COVID-19 that prioritizes the health of vulnerable children and furthers the gains made in global child health.

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