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Determinants of child morbidity and factors governing utilization of child health care: evidence from rural India

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Prevention as well as effective treatment of respiratory infections and diarrhoea depends on several individual, household and community level factors. The objective of this article is to estimate the role played by such factors in determining the occurrence of such diseases and utilization of formal health care for children under the age of three in India. The major findings are briefly enlisted as follows. First, a woman with greater educational qualification and autonomy in terms of her power to take decisions on her own, control over household resources and complete freedom to move beyond the confines of her household exerts a significant influence on the probability of seeking care. In addition to this, formal care is more likely to be sought for children whose mothers are more exposed to the media. Programmes devised to enhance utilization of formal health care for children should be targeted to catering for the needs of the vulnerable group i.e. female child, predominantly, residing in households belonging to Scheduled Tribe. In addition to this, children belonging to Muslim households are at higher risk of contracting the diseases but there is no significant difference in their health seeking behaviour as compared to other religious groups.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Madras School of Economics, Gandhi Mandapam RoadChennai, 600025,Tamil Nadu, India

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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