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Int J Equity Health. 2007 Jun 5;6:4.

Does health intervention improve socioeconomic inequalities of neonatal, infant and child mortality? Evidence from Matlab, Bangladesh.

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1
Public Health Sciences Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh. razzaque@icddrb.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although there are wide variations in mortality between developed and developing countries, socioeconomic inequalities in health exist in both the societies. The study examined socioeconomic inequalities of neonatal, infant and child mortality using data from the Matlab Health and Demographic Surveillance System of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B).

METHODS:

Four birth cohorts (1983-85, 1988-90, 1993-95, 1998-00) were followed for five years for death and out-migration in two adjacent areas (ICDDR,B-service and government-service) with similar socioeconomic but differ health services. Based on asset quintiles, inequality was measured through both poor-rich ratio and concentration index.

RESULTS:

The study found that the socioeconomic inequalities of neonatal, infant and under-five mortality increased over time in both the ICDDR,B-service and government-service areas but it declined substantially for 1-4 years in the ICDDR,B- service area.

CONCLUSION:

The study concluded that usual health intervention programs (non-targeted) do not reduce poor-rich gap, rather the gap increases initially but might decrease in long run if the program is very intensive.

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