Monika S. Sawhney, MSW1, Mahmud M. Khan, PhD1, Ronald E. Marks, PhD2, David R. Hotchkiss, PhD1, Janet C. Rice, PhD3, and Lakshmi Narasimhan Balaji, PhD4. (1) Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-875-6469, firstname.lastname@example.org, (2) School of Social Work, Tulane University, 301-A Social Work Building, School of Social Work, New Orleans, LA 70118, (3) Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70112, (4) Division of Policy and Planning, United Nations Children's Fund, Three United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017
Rapid economic progress over the last two decades has significantly improved the health status of population in India, but, gender disparity in child health status remains a concern. Ensuring human rights of the population requires reduction and ultimate elimination of gender and socio-economic disparity in health.
Strategies to promote economic progress may also help improve the efficiency of the health system in producing child health outcomes. Since the interventions to encourage growth are likely to be strengthened over the years, this study examines the effect of improved efficiency of health system on gender disparity.
Using fixed effect model, efficiency indices of 25 Indian States (in terms of child health outcomes) are estimated using state level data for the years 1998-2001. Child health status is measured by infant mortality rate (IMR), and various socio-economic variables serve as explanatory variables. Difference in mean values of IMR (rural and urban for time period 1998-2001) for male and female serve as the dependent variable. Efficiency scores and various socioeconomic variables serve as the independent variables.
Results indicate that ‘efficiency of the health system' does not significantly affect gender disparity in child health. Both in rural and urban areas, increase in percentage of safe deliveries reduces disparity. However in rural areas, with an increase in net state domestic product, the disparity in child health increases. Therefore, neither economic growth nor improved efficiency of health system will automatically reduce gender disparity in child health. Policy makers should examine the role of social development in reducing disparity.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, the participants in this session will be able to
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Any relevant financial relationships? No
The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA