Babies born to the epidemic could delay immunity and development, the researchers said

Babies born during the Covid-19 epidemic may face detrimental consequences for their integral development. Research conducted around the world, in Brazil and Sierra Leone, blames such deficits Social isolation It is recommended to reduce the risk of infection.

In the process, children are confined to the home and live primarily with their parents, stopping children from meeting other children and interacting with the environment. Also, not having school lunch with the teaching unit closed can also lead to malnutrition during this time.

According to the Civil Registry Transparency Portal of the National Association of Registrars of Natural Persons (ARPEN), birth certificates have been issued in Sierra since March 2020.

Nurse Marcia Machado, a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the Federal University of Sierra Leone (UFC) and chief scientist for social security in the state, is coordinating the “Erasema Covid” study to evaluate the scenario.

They are almost accompanied by. 350 women and their children Fortaleza was born on the public network between July and August 2020, after the first lockdown in the Sierra capital. Mothers and babies were assessed three times: at 6, 12 and 18 months of age. A new phase should be conducted in 24 months.

Is there already evidence in the poor health of these children?

As an immunity issue, children can do something with the environment, without interacting with other people, when they return to the environment, at school, attend, first – and we notice that in older children 18 months – respiratory problems.

We also have the problem of rain, climate change at the moment. Obviously, when a baby comes in contact, sometimes it does not yet have antibodies and this may be mainly in its favor. Respiratory and gastrointestinal problems.

Motor and cognitive development may also be affected?

We are feeling an unusual moment because the children were away from their closest family members and friends. What we are already seeing is some development milestones, which were damaged at first.

For example, in the fine motor question, where he would draw, those simple doodles, there was a serious delay. There were also some issues of socialization and language, aspects that had to be communicated to them.

We also conducted another study in 24 municipalities within the state of Ceará with families living in extreme poverty and there was indeed a change in children’s behavior. But here in Fortaleza, what we are seeing is that development seems to have taken place A little more committed.

Our assumption is that children live in smaller spaces, in apartments, they are more limited; In rural areas, even in spite of physical distance, children are able to enjoy these interactions with nature more.

Subtitles: Márcia Machado has been a nurse for 35 years and is currently the chief social security scientist at Ceará.

Photograph: Victor Braga / UFC

Could these deficiencies be related to maternal health during pregnancy?

We are using some scale of maternal mental health, and women who have more mental distress are more at risk of developing children. They are mothers who are not good with them.

A worrying finding is that about 60% of these women did not seek counseling after childbirth. They are taking the kids, but most of them don’t want to keep up with their body and mind.

Also, what we need today Bring the male figure Responsibility for child care. This is a thesis that we thought a lot. Women are always under extra pressure, but we also need to bring in young men who have made their girlfriends pregnant and explain that, even if separated, fathers need to know that they need to keep in touch with the child, express affection, be able to. Talk to the baby. Because it increases the number of words they learn.

Is this delay worrying or is it possible to recover?

We do not yet have the answer to this study, but what has been done around the world shows that children are ultimately one The elastic capacity to reverse this fact. If you keep interacting with them, they will eventually recover. But we have to follow because our reality is very different from the reality of other countries which have been following for a long time.

You have to do challenging work in day care centers and schools, where these children spend more time. Some interventions are needed for you to guide your parents to better communicate.

For example: An item that affects children the most Reading questions You read children’s stories while showing pictures from books. These studies show that this is a very powerful intervention.



How can this phenomenon be related to the delay or refusal to update the childhood vaccine?

The Covid-19 vaccine denial movement is also affecting the vaccine calendar. About 30% of babies 18 months of age have some Delayed vaccinations are not given. This is a cause for concern because in some parts of the country, diseases like measles have become almost extinct

By working under the direction of the state, we need to force the search for home visits by our Community Health Agent and Family Health Strategy team. In the first 6 months of our lives, we probably have to go back to the same percentage as we visited in the 1990s.

Professionals should use the immunization book as a collaborator as it signals the child’s development, as well as giving parents a lot of guidance on the best way to ensure their children’s development.

The “Erasema Covid” study, currently underway in Sierra Leone, includes research by the UFC, the University of Sao Paulo (USP), Harvard University, the Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation, and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies Foundation (DRCLAS). In addition to being supported by the Ceará Foundation for Support to Scientific and Technology Development (Funcap).


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