COVID-19 orphaned 371,100 Nigerian children, says report


indigent childrenBetween March 2020 and May 2022, an estimated 371,100 children in Nigeria were orphaned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by the World Bank.

In the September 2022 edition of the report titled “Children: The Hidden Pandemic,” it was noted that Nigeria is among the countries in the world where children suffer significant losses of their caregivers.

It read in part, “Countries having the highest numbers of children facing loss of caregivers due to COVID-19 are distributed widely across global regions. As shown in the map in Figure 5, we observed the largest burden of orphanhood and death of grandparent caregivers from March 1, 2020, through May 1, 2022—the first 26 months of the pandemic—in India, Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Mexico, the DRC, Brazil, the USA, Ethiopia, South Africa, Russia, Kenya, and Peru.”

The report further noted that an estimated 430,000 children lost a primary and/or secondary caregiver due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

It also warned that the effect of this loss is devastating for the children, who have become orphans.

The report read, “Parental or caregiver death is permanent; consequences for children can be devastating and enduring, with orphanhood increasing the risks of institutionalisation, family economic hardship, separations, disruptions, physical, emotional, and sexual violence.

“Orphanhood increases the risks of mental ill health, suicide, infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, chronic diseases, adolescent pregnancy, and poor educational outcomes. Previous epidemic evidence shows that ineffective responses to the death of a parent or caregiver, even when there is a surviving parent or caregiver, can have negative psychosocial, neurocognitive, socioeconomic, educational, and biomedical outcomes for children.”

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