Mental Health Of 1 In 7 Children At Risk Due To Covid-led Lo
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At least 332 million children, or one in seven, have their mental health and well-being at risk because of the pandemic-induced lockdowns, the UNICEF has warned. The new analysis by UNICEF, which uses data from the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, identifies some of the most enduring lockdown conditions worldwide.

As per the covid-19: Stringency Index, under the tracker, India had one of the strictest lockdowns. The index is a composite measure based on nine response indicators including school closures, workplace closures, and travel bans, rescaled to a value from 0 to 100. The pandemic, as it enters the second year, has taken a toll on children's and young people’s mental health and psychosocial well-being.

For children experiencing violence, neglect, or abuse at home, lockdowns have left many stranded without the support of teachers, extended families, and communities. Till date in India, only eight states/UTs have opened classes from 1-12, while 11 have reopened classes 6-12, and 15 states have opened classes 9-12. Three have reopened anganwadi centers, with younger children losing out greatly on crucial foundational learning.

Online education is not an option for all as only one in four has access to digital devices and internet connectivity. Pre-pandemic, only a quarter of households (24%) in India had access to the internet and there is a large rural-urban and gender divide, the report highlighted. The majority of schoolchildren worldwide rely on schools as a place where they can interact with peers, seek support, access health and immunization services and a nutritious meal.

The longer schools remain closed, the longer children will remain cut off from these critical elements of childhood. The UNICEF has recommended reopening schools in a staggered manner in the interest of children's mental health. “We know that the longer children stay out of school, the more vulnerable they become, with fewer chances of returning to school," said Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India Representative.

Source:
https://www.livemint.com/science/health/mental-health-of-one-in-seven-children-at-risk-due-to-covid-led-lockdown-unicef-11614925206066.html
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