The indirect effects of COVID-19 upon global childhood pneumonia

Public Health Pract (Oxf). 2022 Jun:3:100228. doi: 10.1016/j.puhip.2022.100228. Epub 2022 Jan 22.

Abstract

Objectives: The relative scarcity of paediatric COVID-19 disease infers protection from its direct harms. We aim to highlight the potentially severe indirect effects of COVID-19 upon global childhood pneumonia.

Study design: This is a discussion piece written from the authors' perspective.

Methods: We use the social determinants of health to describe the indirect impact of COVID-19 upon global childhood pneumonia.

Results: The social determinants of health are a range of social, economic, and environmental factors used to explore and explain global health differences and inequalities. Global childhood pneumonia is a significant public health problem with clear linkage to the social determinants of health. COVID-19 is a significant threat to the health and wellbeing of children around the world through its potentially severe effects on all strata of the social determinants of health.

Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic could undermine years of progress in reducing both global childhood pneumonia incidence and mortality, and most significantly affect vulnerable children living in poverty.

Keywords: COVID-19; Child health; Childhood pneumonia; Coronavirus; Determinants of health.