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Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2014 Apr;35(4):235-41.

[Inequality in primary care interventions in maternal and child health care in Mexico].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

  • 1Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, , mlopez14@servidor.unam.mx.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To analyze the principal indicators associated with maternal mortality and mortality in children under 1 year of age and evaluate coverage levels and variability among the federative entities of Mexico.

METHODS:

Eight interventions in maternal and child primary health care (variables) were studied: complete vaccination series, measles vaccine, and pentavalent vaccine in children under 1 year of age; early breast-feeding; prenatal care with at least one check-up by trained staff; prevalence of contraceptive use among married women of reproductive age; obstetric care in delivery by trained staff; and the administration of tetanus toxoid (TT) to pregnant women. The average and standard deviation of national coverage for each variable was calculated. Within each federative entity the proportion of municipalities with high, medium, and low marginalization was determined. States were ranked by the proportion of municipalities with high marginalization (highest to lowest) and divided into quintiles. Absolute inequality was measured using the observed difference and relative inequality, using the ratio of each variable studied.

RESULTS:

The average national coverage for the eight variables studied ranged from 86.5% to 97.5%, with administration of TT to pregnant women the lowest and administration of measles vaccine to children under 1 year of age the highest. Obstetric care in delivery, prevalence of contraceptive use, and prenatal checkup were the variables with less equitable coverage. In states with higher levels of marginalization, activities dependent on a structured health system-e.g., obstetric care in delivery-showed lower levels of coverage compared to preventive activities not requiring costly inputs or infrastructure-e.g., early breast-feeding.

CONCLUSIONS:

Interventions exhibiting greater inequity are associated with the lack of medical infrastructure and are more accentuated in federative entities with higher levels of marginalization. Greater public health expenditure is urgently needed to implement feasible, effective alternatives in terms of access and health care. Intersectoral policies and activities should be implemented to create synergies that will equitably improve the health of Mexican mothers and children.

PMID:
24870001
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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