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Journal Article


Mekaoui N, Aouragh H, Jeddi Y, Rhalem H, Dakhama BSB, Karboubi L. Pan. Afr. Med. J. 2021; 38: e57.


(Copyright © 2021, African Field Epidemiology Network)






The World Health Organization has declared SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) a pandemic in March 11, 2020 [1]. The Kingdom of Morocco declared a state of health emergency from March 20 to June 24, 2020 and strict containment measures have been implemented including schools closure and suspension of extra-curricular activities [2]. While the number of pediatric medical emergency consultations has significantly decreased [3] during that period, we have seen an increase in the number of child abuses in our consultation. Social isolation is known to be a risk factor for child abuse [4,5]. Researchers have found that all types of child abuse become more common during school vacations, summer vacations, and natural disasters (epidemics, hurricanes, etc.) [4]. Thus, containment measures taken to halt the spread of SARS-CoV-2 made us expect an increase in cases of child abuse. We collected data of children under the age of 18 who were sexually abused attending the Pediatric Medical Emergency Department of the ChildrenĀ“s Hospital of Rabat (Morocco) during the lockdown period of March 30 to June 2020.

Fourteen children who were victims of sexual abuse consulted the pediatric medical emergency department; this number is 2.3 times the number who consulted during the same period in 2019. Although the rate is increased by 2.3, it certainly remains underestimated due to the difficulties by families of accessing hospitals and social structures [3]. Sexual violence mostly concerned children under 13 years old, seven victims were under five years of age and male victims represented half of the cases seen. The parental couple and the extended family were most often responsible for the cases of child abuse...

Language: en


Child abuse; Morocco; COVID-19; pandemic; lockdown


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