Almost 4,000 Nigerian children lose parents to COVID-19

A total of 4487 children lost their primary or secondary caregivers to the disease.

Nigerian children are the most affected in West Africa (image used for illustrative purpose)[UNDP]

At least 3,853 Nigerian children, younger than 18 years, lost their parents to COVID-19 between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021, according to a report published in medical journal The Lancet this week.

The novel disease has infected over 192 million people and killed over 4.1 million globally since it was first detected in China in December 2019.

Nigeria recorded over 170,000 infections and 2,130 deaths since February 2020.

A modelling study on the global minimum estimates of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and deaths of caregivers showed that Nigerian children have been the most affected in West Africa.

556 children lost their mothers to the disease, while 3297 lost their fathers, according to the report.

94 more children lost a grandparent considered a primary caregiver, and an additional 540 children lost secondary caregivers such as a co-residing grandparent or kin.

A total of 4487 children lost their primary or secondary caregivers to the disease.

The report developed estimates of pandemic-associated orphanhood and caregiver deaths using excess mortality and COVID-19 deaths for 21 countries that accounted for 76.4% of global COVID-19 deaths, a list that included Nigeria.

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