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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 169-175

COVID-19 lockdown in Enugu, Nigeria: Challenges and concerns of caregivers of children with chronic neurological illnesses

1 College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria
2 College of Health Sciences, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital Parklane, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Adaobi I Bisi-Onyemaechi
College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmh.IJMH_16_21

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Background: COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on the global economy and the public health systems of all affected countries. Objectives: To understand the challenges (health, cognitive, economic, and psychological) posed by the lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic on caregivers of children with chronic neurological disorders in Enugu, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A focused group discussion was done with seven caregiver-patient pairs while observing all precautionary measures. The responses of the participants were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. Results: There was limited access to physicians to review the children’s health, lack of money for medications with worsening of symptoms in some cases. Some children had forgotten what they had learnt during the previous academic period whereas others had torn their books. The policy imposed hunger on the households. Caregivers lost their jobs, and others had their businesses locked down and were unable to provide food. Children had access to cloth face masks but seldom adhered to its use. The participants were well adapted to handwashing. One participant had access to a hand sanitizer. The lockdown of worship centers conferred a sense of anger, frustration, and hopelessness among some of the participants. Conclusion: The lockdown affected access to health services, interrupted learning, superimposed hunger, and affected the social well-being of the study participants. It is recommended that locally adapted strategies be developed to mitigate unintended effects of health policies on sick children and their caregivers.

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