An international study was shocking: more than 5.2 million children under 17 on the planet have lost one or both parents due to the pandemic.
A scientific study estimates that in Greece alone, at least 290 children have lost one parent or guardian, and sometimes both. If grandparents are counted, that number rises to 320. The data shows:
14.6% of orphans are children under four; 21.8% – children 5-9 years old; 63.6%, or almost two out of three, are teenagers aged 10-17.
However, the data was taken for the period from March 2020 to October 2021, before the “aggression” of Omicron, so the real figure is even higher. According to the researchers, by January 2022, about 6.7 million children in the world have lost their parents or guardians. At the same time, more than three out of four children (76.5%) lost their fathers, and 23.5% lost their mothers.
The study was led by Dr Juliet Angwin of Imperial College London and Dr Susan Hillis of the US National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its results are published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, reports newsbeast.gr.
The researchers note that children who survived the loss of a parent or guardian were exposed to a variety of risks: poverty, sexual abuse, exploitation, abuse, mental health problems:
“We estimate that for every person who dies from Covid-19, there is a child who is orphaned or has lost a guardian. This equates to a child experiencing an increased risk of difficulties throughout their life if they are not provided with timely support. Therefore, support for orphans should be immediately integrated into any national Covid-19 response plan.”
Professor Lorraine Sir of University College London notes:
Before the pandemic, about 140 million children were orphaned around the world. It took ten years for 5 million children to be orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and the same number of children orphaned by Covid-19 in just two years, and these figures do not include the latest wave of the Omicron option, which will continue to further increase the total number of orphans .