Orphanhood and Caregiver Loss Among Children Based on New Global Excess COVID-19 Death Estimates

Susan Hillis, Joel-Pascal Ntwali N’konzi, William Msemburi, Lucie Cluver, Andrés Villaveces, Seth Flaxman, H. Juliette T. Unwin

The availability of new excess mortality data enables us to update global minimum estimates of COVID-19 orphanhood and caregiver death among children. Consequences for children can be devastating, including institutionalization, abuse, traumatic grief, mental health problems, adolescent pregnancy, poor educational outcomes, and chronic and infectious diseases.

Global totals and country comparisons were previously hampered by inconsistencies in COVID-19 testing and incomplete death reporting. The new orphanhood estimates derived here based on excess deaths provide a comprehensive measure of COVID-19’s longterm impact on orphanhood and caregiver loss.

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