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An integrative literature review on the impact of COVID-19 on maternal and child health in Africa

Senkyire, Ephraim K. and Ewetan, O. O. and Azuh, Dominic E. and Asiedua, Ernestina and White, Rebecca and Dunlea,, Margaret and Barger, Mary and Ohaja, Magdalena (2024) An integrative literature review on the impact of COVID-19 on maternal and child health in Africa. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 23 (6).

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Africa has the highest rates of maternal deaths globally which have been linked to poorly functioning health care systems. The pandemic revealed already known weaknesses in the health systems in Africa, such as workforce shortages, lack of equipment and resources. The aim of this paper is to review the published literature on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal and child health in Africa. The integrative review process delineated by Whittemore and Knafl (2005) was used to meet the study aims. The literature search of Ovid Medline, CINAHL, PubMed, WHO, Google and Google scholar, Africa journals online, MIDIRS was limited to publications between March 2020 and May 2022. All the studies went through the PRISMA stages, and 179 full text papers screened for eligibility, 36 papers met inclusion criteria. Of the studies, 6 were qualitative, 25 quantitative studies, and 5 mixed methods. Thematic analysis according to the methods of Braun and Clark (2006) were used to synthesize the data. From the search the six themes that emerged include: effects of lockdown measures, COVID concerns and psychological stress, reduced attendance at antenatal care, childhood vaccination, reduced facility-based births, and increase maternal and child mortality. A review of the literature revealed the following policy issues: The need for government to develop robust response mechanism to public health emergencies that negatively affect maternal and child health issues and devise health policies to mitigate negative effects of lockdown. In times of pandemic there is need to maintain special access for both antenatal care and child delivery services and limit a shift to use of untrained birth attendants to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths. These could be achieved by soliciting investments from various sectors to provide high-quality care that ensures sustainability to all layers of the population.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Maternal and child health  COVID-19  Africa  Pandemic  Lockdowns  Health systems  Integrative review
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences > School of Medicine
Faculty of Law, Arts and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: nwokealisi
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2024 11:18
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2024 11:18

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