Explaining the gap in the use of maternal healthcare services between social groups in India

Abhishek Kumar, Aditya Singh

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Abstract

Background To further reduce the maternal mortality ratio, India needs to narrow down the social inequity in the use of maternal healthcare services. This study quantifies the contribution of factors explaining the average gap in the use of full antenatal care, medical assistance at delivery and postnatal check-ups between scheduled castes/scheduled tribes (SCs/STs) and the remaining population in India.

Methods Using the most recent round of the National Family Health Survey conducted during 2005–06, this study quantifies the contribution of selected predictors explaining the gap in the use of maternal healthcare services between SCs/STs and the remaining population.

Results Coverage of all three services is considerably lower among women of SCs/STs than the remaining population. Differences in household wealth contribute ∼37–55% of the gap in the use of the services between the social groups. A considerable part of the gap in coverage of medical assistance at delivery and postnatal check-ups is contributed by differences in the coverage of antenatal care.

Conclusions The Indian constitution provides reservation for SCs/STs in enrolment in government educational institutions and jobs. There is a need for special policy in a similar way, to increase the coverage of maternal healthcare services among SC/ST women of the country.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberfdv142
Pages (from-to)771-781
JournalJournal of Public Health Medicine
Volume38
Issue number4
Early online date11 Dec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Social groups
  • Antenatal care
  • Medical assistance at delivery
  • Postnatal check-up
  • Decomposition analysis
  • India

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