Nursing professor Salima Meherali is leading international research looking for ways to address serious gaps the COVID-19 pandemic has created in health-care services for teen girls in low- and middle-income countries. (Photo: John Ulan)
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An increase in child marriages, unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and sexual violence is likely to be seen for years in low-and middle-income countries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a University of Alberta nursing researcher who is leading an international study to address the problem.
“In many countries, all the health services have been redirected towards preventing COVID-19 infection and providing treatment for COVID-19, which has had a negative impact on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and services, especially for girls,” said Salima Meherali, assistant professor in the Faculty of Nursing and member of the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute, who will head up a team of researchers in Pakistan, Ghana, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.
This research is supported by the Worldwide Universities Network Research Development Fund and the University of Alberta. View the WUN interdisciplinary research group (IRG)’s project page Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Adolescents’ Sexual and Reproductive Health in Low- and Middle-Income Countries for more information including research outcomes.