Statistics released by World Bank experts at the Imperial College of London has revealed that an estimated 4,000 Nigerian children lost one or both parents to the killer coronavirus (COVID-19)-associated deaths between March 2020 and July 2021.
The report also revealed that over 4,100 Nigerian children lost one or both primary caregivers in the same timeframe, while 4,300 lost one or both primary and secondary caregivers. The Bank disclosed these in its latest blog post co-authored by Laura Rawlings, lead economist at World Bank and Susan Hillis, a senior technical advisor, CDC COVID-19 International Task Force.
The World Bank’s Lead Economist, Laura Rawlings, and the Senior Technical Advisor, CDC COVID-19 International Task Force, Susan Hillis, in a different report published on the bank’s blog on Tuesday, stated that for every two people, who died of COVID-19, one child was left orphaned, which brought the global toll of orphaned children to two million at the end of June 2021.
The report entitled, ‘For every two COVID-19 deaths, one child loses a caregiver. We must do more to address the orphan crisis,’ further stated that for every two people, who died of COVID-19, one child was left orphaned, which brought the global toll of orphaned children to two million at the end of June 2021.
“The COVID crisis will leave many unwanted legacies. The world has been closely tracking the COVID-19 death toll, with official mortality counts now reaching over four million people, largely concentrated among adults. The children left behind have been practically invisible. Our estimates of the toll on children left behind, just released, are that for every two people, who die of COVID, one child is left orphaned, facing the death of a parent or grandparent caregiver, who had been living in their home.
“By the end of June 2021, because of COVID-19, our estimates show that nearly two million children under 18 years had lost a mother, father, and/or grandparent caregiver, who lived in their household,” they said.
Further analysis showed that Nigeria has the highest number of orphaned children in West Africa. Others in West Africa with more than 1,000 orphaned children include Mali, 1,000; Ghana, 1,500; Cameroon, 2,600; and Senegal, 2,400. South Africa currently has the highest number in Africa with 101,700 children orphaned within the period.
The report added that during the pandemic’s first 14 months, over one million children experienced death of primary caregivers, including parents or custodial grandparents. The experts listed countries with primary caregiver death rates of at least one per 1,000 children to include Peru, 10.2 per 1,000 children; South Africa, 5.1; Mexico, 3.5; Brazil, 2.4; Colombia, 2.3; Iran, 1.7; the USA, 1.5); Argentina, 1.1; and Russia, 1.0.
“In addition, over this same time frame, another half a million lost a grandparent caregiver living in their own home. At this rate, one child is orphaned every 12 seconds due to a COVID-19-associated death, and the toll is growing. Our most recent estimates reveal that for every two adults that die from COVID-19, 1 child is left without a familial caregiver,” they added.