An additional 6,000 children may die daily from preventable causes in the coming six months amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, UNICEF said. The deaths are expected due to weakening of the health system and disruption of routine services due to the pandemic, the international body also said on the basis of an analysis in The Lancet. The health crisis is “quickly becoming a child rights crisis. And without urgent action, a further 6,000 under-fives could die each day,” it said. Children are bearing the brunt since families are under pressure, parents are out of work and schools are closed, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said.
UNICEF also urged to raise funds for preventing such deaths. Fore further said, “As we reimagine what a post-COVID world would look like, these funds will help us respond to the crisis, recover from its aftermath, and protect children from its knock-on effects.”
Adding, the research said that an additional 1.2 million under five deaths could happen in just six months on account of rise in child wasting and cut in routine health service coverage levels in 118 low and middle income countries. These deaths are in addition to the 2.5 million of the children who die before their fifth birthday every six months in these countries. Bangladesh, Brazil, Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania are the countries at the highest risk, according to the report.
Seventy seven per cent of children under the age of 18 globally are living in one of 132 countries with coronavirus movement restrictions, according to a UNICEF analysis.