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Open AccessReview

Reorienting Nurturing Care for Early Childhood Development during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya: A Review

1
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Aga Khan University, Nairobi 00623, Kenya
2
Department of Population Health, Aga Khan University, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
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Africa Early Childhood Network, Nairobi 00502, Kenya
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Global Programs Team, Aga Khan Foundation, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
5
Institute for Human Development, Aga Khan University, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
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International Centre for Reproductive Health, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
7
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia
8
Burnet Institute, Melbourne 3004, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7028; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197028
Received: 11 August 2020 / Revised: 7 September 2020 / Accepted: 8 September 2020 / Published: 25 September 2020
In Kenya, millions of children have limited access to nurturing care. With the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is anticipated that vulnerable children will bear the biggest brunt of the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic. This review aimed to deepen understanding of the effects of COVID-19 on nurturing care from conception to four years of age, a period where the care of children is often delivered through caregivers or other informal platforms. The review has drawn upon the empirical evidence from previous pandemics and epidemics, and anecdotal and emerging evidence from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Multifactorial impacts fall into five key domains: direct health; health and nutrition systems; economic protection; social and child protection; and child development and early learning. The review proposes program and policy strategies to guide the reorientation of nurturing care, prevent the detrimental effects associated with deteriorating nurturing care environments, and support the optimal development of the youngest and most vulnerable children. These include the provision of cash transfers and essential supplies for vulnerable households and strengthening of community-based platforms for nurturing care. Further research on COVID-19 and the ability of children’s ecology to provide nurturing care is needed, as is further testing of new ideas. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; impacts; nurturing care; early childhood development (ECD); maternal; newborn; child health; child growth development; early brain development; vulnerable children and families COVID-19; impacts; nurturing care; early childhood development (ECD); maternal; newborn; child health; child growth development; early brain development; vulnerable children and families
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Shumba, C.; Maina, R.; Mbuthia, G.; Kimani, R.; Mbugua, S.; Shah, S.; Abubakar, A.; Luchters, S.; Shaibu, S.; Ndirangu, E. Reorienting Nurturing Care for Early Childhood Development during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya: A Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7028.

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