The effects of Covid will be felt in the future

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Around 5 million children died in 2021 before turning five, while 2.1 million children and young people up to the age of 24 lost their lives. Covid has not increased infant mortality but it has increased future risks for survival.

There are two worrying figures that emerged from the Unicef ​​reports released yesterday regarding the child mortality. One concerns the number of children who died before the age of 5 in 2021, and the other concerns the number of stillborn children. Alarming figures to which is added another fact resulting from the pandemic: the Covid in fact it did not directly increase child mortality but may have increased i future risks for their survival.

Specifically, according to what emerged report Levels & Trends in Child Mortality-Report 2021, released by Unicef/WHO/World Bank/Un Desa of the United Nations Inter-agency Group for the Estimation of Child Mortality (UN Igme), about 5 million children died before their fifth birthday while another 2.1 million children and young people between the ages of 5 and 24 lost their lives in 2021. In fact, every four and a half seconds (4.4 to be precise) a child or young person under 24 dies in the world.


In a second report, entitled Never Forgotten The situation of stillbirth around the globe, in the same period, 1.9 million babies were stillborn. Deaths that Unicef ​​believes could have been prevented with equitable access and high-quality health care for mothers, newborns, adolescents and children.


The reports show however also positive data such as the one concerning the reduction of the risk of death in all age groups a globally since 2000. The global under-five mortality rate has decreased by 50% since the turn of the century, while mortality rates in older children and young people have dropped by 36%, and finally the stillbirth rate has decreased by 35%. %. This can be attributed to increased investment in strengthening primary health systems for the benefit of women, children and young people.


There is no lack of data analysis on the Covid they effects on children. Indeed, the pandemic has not directly increased the mortality of children under five, but it may have increased future risks to their survival. In particular, the reports highlight concerns related to disruptions to vaccination campaigns, nutritional services and access to primary health care.

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There pandemic, moreover, it fed the largest retreat of the vaccinations over three decades, putting the most vulnerable infants and children at greater risk of dying from preventable diseases.


Children continue to have very different chances of survival depending on where they are born: children born in sub-Saharan Africa are in fact subject to the highest risk of dying as a child in the world, in detail we are talking about 15 times more than children in Europe and North America.

“Behind these numbers there are millions of children and families who are denied the fundamental right to health – explained Juan Pablo Uribe, global director for health, nutrition and population of the World Bank and Director of the Global Financing Fund – we have need political will and leadership for sustainable financing of primary health care, which is one of the best investments that countries and development partners can make”.

The article is in Italian

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