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School closure, COVID-19 and lunch programme: Unprecedented undernutrition crisis in low-middle income countries

Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health Mayurasakorn, K., Pinsawas, B. , Mongkolsucharitkul, P., Sranacharoenpong, K. , Damapong, S. N. 2020-7-3
Article on the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures, and child nutrition. The pandemic has affected nearly 70% of children and teenagers around the world due to school closure policies. These policies have been implemented widely in order to prevent viral transmission of the virus and its impact on the broader community, based on preliminary recommendations and evidence from influenza. However, there has been debate with regard to the effectiveness of school closures. Growing evidence suggests that a child's SARS-CoV-2 infection is often mild or asymptomatic and that children may not be major SARS-CoV-2 transmitters; thus, it is questionable if school closures prevent transmission significantly. This question is important as a majority of children in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) depend on free school meals; unexpected long-term school closure may adversely impact nutrition and educational outcomes. Food insecurity is expected to be higher during the pandemic. In this viewpoint, the authors argue for a more thorough exploration of the potential adverse impacts of school closures in LMICs and recommend actions to ensure that the health and learning needs of vulnerable populations are met in this time of crisis.
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Education
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Oceania
  • a. Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)
  • b. High-Income Countries (HICs)
  • China
  • Iceland
  • Iran (Islamic Republic)
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea (Republic of Korea)
  • Taiwan SAR, China
  • Thailand
  • Children (boys and/or girls 1-10 years old)
  • Communities
  • Households
  • Research
  • Article
  • Scientific Publication/Journal article

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