265863 Improving child health in resource poor countries Role of health education

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 9:15 AM - 9:30 AM

Monika Sawhney, PhD , Department of Global Studies, Mercer University, Macon, GA
Collins Opiyo, PhD , Director, Population and Social Statistics, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Nairobi, Kenya
The past century witnessed a dramatic decline in under-five mortality in almost all countries of the world. However, in majority of African and Asian countries, the rates are still high. In an environment where resources to improve health are limited, isolating the factors with the potential to achieve the greatest impact is essential.

Not much research has been conducted to document the independent effects of knowledge of health care and use of available health care services on the children's health status. Primary focus of this study is to understand and empirically show that health education is more beneficial for child survival than general female literacy.

The Demographic and Health Survey series (DHSs) collect information on child health status for all women age 15-49 years. The DHSs also have information to infer both knowledge of health care and use of available health care services, in addition to indicators of general literacy. The study includes countries in African and Asian regions that have conducted a DHS after 2005. Survival analysis methods are used to infer the independent impact of awareness of and/or access to health care information on under- five mortality.

Results from this research are important for regions/countries where women have missed the opportunity to attain formal education and unable to make appropriate investments in improving health status of their children. For resource poor countries investing in health education will help raise awareness/educate about basic health care and appropriate use of available health care services resulting in improved child health status.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the role of health education on improving child health status in developing countries 2. Demonstrate the health education plays a more significant role compared to general female literacy in improving child health status in developing countries.

Keywords: Child Health, Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in International Health with a focus on Child and maternal health. I also have research and field experience working on this topic in developing countries and have researched and presented work in this area.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.