Mental Health & COVID-19

WHO, together with partners, is providing guidance and advice during the COVID-19 pandemic for health workers, managers of health facilities, people who are looking after children, older adults, people in isolation and members of the public more generally, to help us look after our mental health.

Further materials relating to looking after our mental health during the COVID pandemic will be added to this page as they become available.

Source: Mental Health & COVID-19

    Building Resilient Societies after COVID-19: The Case for Investing in Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health

    Although it is only possible to recognize resilience retrospectively, the COVID-19 pandemic has occurred at a point in human history when, uniquely, sufficient knowledge is available on the early-life determinants of health to indicate clearly that a focus on maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH) will promote later resilience.

    This knowledge offers an unprecedented opportunity to disrupt entrenched strategies and to reinvest in MNCH in the post-COVID-19 so-called new normal. Furthermore, analysis of the short-term, medium-term, and longer-term consequences of previous socioeconomic shocks provides important insights into those domains of MNCH, such as neurocognitive development and nutrition, for which investment will generate the greatest benefit.

    Furthermore, analysis of the short-term, medium-term, and longer-term consequences of previous socioeconomic shocks provides important insights into those domains of MNCH, such as neurocognitive development and nutrition, for which investment will generate the greatest benefit. Such considerations apply to high-income countries (HICs) and low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, implementing appropriate policies in the post-COVID-19 recovery period will be challenging and requires political commitment and public engagement.

    Source: Building Resilient Societies after COVID-19: The Case for Investing in Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health

      Providing Maternal Health Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Nepal

      By the beginning of 2020, Nepal had reached a tipping point with over 60% of births occurring in a health facility—a three times increase from just 18% in 2006.

      National lockdown happened very early in Nepal, on March 21, 2020, well before any community spread of COVID-19. The lockdown took the form of severe restrictions on transport and closure of outpatient departments of many hospitals.

      In this article, the authors compare intrapartum care before and during the lockdown period in Nepal. The number of institutional births decreased by 52·4% during the first 2 months of lockdown, and women in relatively disadvantaged ethnic groups were found to be affected more than those in more advantaged groups, indicating a widening equity gap due to COVID-19. They also found that quality of care in the hospitals was compromised compared with before lockdown.

      Source: Providing Maternal Health Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Nepal

        KAP COVID Dashboard: Global Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices around COVID-19

        This dashboard is a visualization of a study of knowledge, attitudes and practices around COVID-19 and is a collaboration among Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, Facebook Data for Good, MIT, WHO and Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network.

        View the dashboard. 

        COVID-19, Maternal and Child Health, Nutrition – What Does the Science Tell Us?

        This resource tool is compiled by the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health and provides an overview of what peer-reviewed journal articles currently state on COVID-19, maternal and child health (including infants), and nutrition.

        As the pandemic is ongoing more and more research results are published.

        Source: COVID-19, Maternal and Child Health, Nutrition – What Does the Science Tell Us?

          Coronavirus: Why are Women Paying a Heavier Price?

          Women have shown better COVID-19 outcomes than men – in part thanks to an additional X chromosome and sex hormones like oestrogen, which provoke better immune responses to the virus that causes COVID-19. But any such advantage is reversed when it comes to the social and economic effects of the pandemic; here the brunt falls heaviest on women.

          What has disproportionately affected women is insecurity and loss of employment because women tend to work in informal sectors with no financial protection or benefits. Data gathered by UN Women shows that of all healthcare workers infected with COVID-19 in Spain and Italy, 72 percent and 66 percent respectively were women.

          Source: Coronavirus: Why are Women Paying a Heavier Price?

            Three Lessons from the Global South on Combating the Pandemic

            This article, by Dr Muhammad Musa of BRAC International, a Bangladesh-based NGO, states that top-down measures to curb the spread of the virus – dramatic steps like lockdowns and bans on large gatherings – pose an immediate threat to families in the poorest communities.

            He writes that the key to fixing this situation is community engagement and the involvement of local leaders.

            Source: Three Lessons from the Global South on Combating the Pandemic

              What is the World Doing about COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance?

              Even before the COVID-19 crisis, the WHO declared vaccination hesitancy one of the Top 10 threats to global health in 2019.

              A vaccine will help prevent new infections, and more than that, it will help businesses and schools in hard-hit countries get back to normal. Vast amounts of money have been invested in finding a vaccine and media reports update us regularly on the progress of over 200 candidate vaccines under evaluation.This blog shares research on vaccine acceptance worldwide.

              Source: What is the World Doing about COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance?

                COVID-19 Care in India: The Course to Self-Reliance

                The public health response to COVID-19 in India has been highly centralized, resulting in a homogenous strategy applied across a sixth of the world’s population.

                India was placed in a nationwide lockdown on March 24, 2020, with restrictions being relaxed in three phases since June. In May 2020, the prime minister called upon the Indian people to be self-reliant. The authors discuss opportunities to modify several aspects of the medical response to echo this sentiment.

                They conclude that what is still needed is a plethora of low-tech solutions (especially facial coverings), adherence to science, and societal participation in caring for vulnerable people.

                Source: COVID-19 Care in India: The Course to Self-Reliance

                  COVID-19–Related Infodemic and Its Impact on Public Health: A Global Social Media Analysis

                  The authors of this article followed and examined COVID-19–related rumors, stigma, and conspiracy theories circulating on online platforms, including fact-checking agency websites, Facebook, Twitter, and online newspapers, and their impacts on public health.

                  Information was extracted between December 31, 2019 and April 5, 2020, and descriptively analyzed. They performed a content analysis of the news articles to compare and contrast data collected from other sources, and identified 2,311 reports of rumors, stigma, and conspiracy theories in 25 languages from 87 countries. Claims were related to illness, transmission and mortality (24%), control measures (21%), treatment and cure (19%), cause of disease including the origin (15%), violence (1%), and miscellaneous (20%).

                  Of the 2,276 reports for which text ratings were available, 1,856 claims were false (82%).

                  Misinformation fueled by rumors, stigma, and conspiracy theories can have potentially serious implications on the individual and community if prioritized over evidence-based guidelines. Health agencies must track misinformation associated with the COVID-19 in real time, and engage local communities and government stakeholders to debunk misinformation.

                  Source: COVID-19–Related Infodemic and Its Impact on Public Health: A Global Social Media Analysis