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URBAN POVERTY AND UTILIZATION OF MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN INDIA

  • RAVI PRAKASH (a1) and ABHISHEK KUMAR (a2)

Summary

Drawing upon data from the third round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) conducted in India during 2005–06, this study compares the utilization of selected maternal and child health care services between the urban poor and non-poor in India and across selected Indian states. A wealth index was created, separately for urban areas, using Principal Component Analysis to identify the urban poor. The findings suggest that the indicators of maternal and child health care are worse among the urban poor than in their non-poor counterparts. For instance, the levels of antenatal care, safe delivery and childhood vaccinations are much lower among the urban poor than non-poor, especially in socioeconomically disadvantageous states. Among all the maternal and child health care indicators, the non-poor/poor difference is most pronounced for delivery care in the country and across the states. Other than poverty status, utilization of antenatal services by mothers increases the chances of safe delivery and child immunization at both national and sub-national levels. The poverty status of the household emerged as a significant barrier to utilization of health care services in urban India.

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