Article

Equity and the child health Millennium Development Goal: the role of pro-poor health policies.

Department of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, New York 10032, USA.
Journal of epidemiology and community health (Impact Factor: 3.04). 04/2011; 65(4):327-33. DOI: 10.1136/jech.2009.096081
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There are substantial disparities in mortality between rich and poor children in developing countries. As a result, there is a call for explicitly pro-poor health programming in efforts to reach the child health Millennium Development Goals.
To estimate the contribution made by pro-poor health policy to reduction in wealth disparities in under-5 mortality.
An ecological, cross-sectional analysis was performed using Demographic and Health Survey data from 47 developing countries. Multivariate analysis was used to estimate the association between government health expenditure, the wealth distribution of two essential child health services (concentration indices of immunisation and treatment for acute respiratory infection) and aggregate under-5 mortality, as well as two measures of poor-rich equity in mortality outcomes-the quintile ratio and the concentration index of under-5 mortality-while confounders were controlled for.
Lower concentration (more pro-poor) indices for immunisation and treatment for acute respiratory infection were found to be associated with a reduction in inequity in under-5 mortality to the benefit of the poor. Government health expenditures were associated with lower overall national mortality reductions but had no effect on equity of mortality outcomes.
Redistributive health policies that promote pro-poor distribution of health services may reduce the gap in under-5 mortality between rich and poor in low-income and middle-income countries. To ensure that the poor gain from the current efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals, essential child health services should explicitly target the poor. Failing that, the gains from these services will tend to accrue to the wealthier children in countries, magnifying inequalities in mortality.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
69 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Global health equity strategists have previously focused much on differences across countries. At first glance, the global health gap in health status appears to result primarily from disparities between the developing and developed regions. We examine how much of this disparity could be attributed to within-country disparities in developing nations. We used data from Demographic and Health Surveys conducted between 1995 and 2010 in 67 developing countries. Using a population attributable risk approach, we computed the proportion of global under-five mortality gap and the absolute under-five deaths that would be reduced if the under-five mortality rate in each of these 67 countries was lowered to the level of the top 10% economic group in each country. As a sensitivity check, we also conducted comparable calculations replacing the top 10% with the top 5% and with the top 20%. In 2007, approximately 6.6 million under-five deaths were observed in the 67 countries used in the analysis. This could be reduced to only 600,000 deaths if these countries had the same under-five mortality rate as developed countries. If the under-five mortality rate in developing countries was lowered to the rate among the top 10% economic group in those same each of these countries, under-five deaths would be reduced to 3.7 million. This corresponds to a 48% reduction in the global mortality gap and 2.9 million under-five deaths averted. Using cutoff points of top 5% and top 20% economic groups showed reduction of 37% and 56% respectively in the global mortality gap. With these cutoff points, respectively 2.3 and 3.4 million deaths would be averted. Under-five mortality disparities within developing countries account for roughly half of the global gap between developed and developing countries. Thus, within-country inequities deserve as much consideration as do inequalities between the world's developing and developed regions.
    BMC Public Health 03/2014; 14(1):216. · 2.08 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite high rates of early childbearing, maternal mortality, and under-five mortality, little is known about factors that affect access of teenage mothers to maternal and child health (MCH) services in Niger. This paper explores potential factors associated with the utilization of MCH care services by adolescent mothers. Using the third wave of the Niger demographic and health survey (NDHS) 2006, we estimate three multivariate logistic regression models to assess individual characteristics associated with the utilization of antenatal care (ANC) and safe delivery care services among adolescent women, as well as full immunization received by children born to adolescent mothers. The analytical sample includes 934 adolescent mothers out of 1,835 respondents aged 15-19, and within this group, 493 mother-child dyads for children aged 12-59 months. Possessing any level of education was found associated with the increased use of all three selected MCH services, while urban residence and higher income were associated with the increased use of two of three MCH services studied. Higher birth order plus a birth interval more than 2 years for the most recent birth appeared associated with the lower probability of antenatal care visits and safe delivery care. This study finds that women who attended at least four ANC visits were more likely to experience safe delivery care, and the children whose mothers had safe delivery care were more likely to receive full immunization. Therefore, an effective program should be designed to promote a continuum of MCH care with special attention to adolescent women who are uneducated, poor and residing in rural areas.
    Maternal and Child Health Journal 06/2013; · 2.24 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Epidemiology is the study of the causes and distributions of diseases in human populations so that we may identify ways to prevent and control disease. Although this definition broadly serves us well, I suggest that in recent decades, our discipline's robust interest in identifying causes has come at the expense of a more rigorous engagement with the second part of our vision for ourselves-the intent for us to intervene-and that this approach threatens to diminish our field's relevance. I argue here for a consequentialist epidemiology, a formalization and recalibration of the philosophical foundations of our discipline. I discuss how epidemiology is, at its core, more comfortably a consequentialist, as opposed to a deontological, discipline. A more consequentialist approach to epidemiology has several implications. It clarifies our research priorities, offers a perspective on the place of novel epidemiologic approaches and a metric to evaluate the utility of new methods, elevates the importance of global health and considerations about equity to the discipline, brings into sharp focus our engagement in implementation and translational science, and has implications for how we teach our students. I intend this article to be a provocation that can help clarify our disciplinary intentions.
    American journal of epidemiology 09/2013; · 5.59 Impact Factor