South Africa has the highest(94 625) number of orphaned children who lost their parents or guardians in Africa due to covid-19. More than 1.5 million children in 21 countries have been orphaned between March 2020 and April 2021.
A hidden pandemic in SA

This was a study done in 21 countries by a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Cape Towns Accelerating Achievements for Africa's Adolescent Hub in partnership with the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

Little attention has been given to the social impact of covid-19. There has been a widespread conversation on the economic impact but little on the individual impact, especially on the loss of people, including breadwinners for families and parents/guardians for children.

23% of the children were raised by single parents, and their death will have dire consequences on the children. The responsibility of the children may now fall on grandparents or extended family members, putting a strain on an already tense situation.

The death of grandparents was, in particular, a devastating loss for the children who had only their grandparents as their only caregivers. Knowing the situation in South Africa, this is the reality of so many children whose parents may have been deceased or cannot afford to take care of the child and rely on the grandparents to do so.

Children who have been orphaned might experience post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), depression and suicide attempts which are to be expected after experiencing such a loss and having to face life without a parent or guardian. They are also vulnerable to domestic, sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

There may also be an increase in child-headed households due to the loss of parents/guardians. As well as an increase in children who drop out of school since now they have to be the caregivers for their siblings. Other social issues that may increase are child marriages and unwanted pregnancies, and HIV infection.

The research report has stated that children have fallen under the radar during the pandemic, and it is now our responsibility as a society to support families who care for children who lost their parents/guardians.

It makes you wonder if the vaccine had been rolled out faster if the devastation would be as bad.

Let me know what you think below in the comments.
Source: news24