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Type Journal Article - Indian journal of medical sciences
Title Health of children in Jamaica: The new heatlh realities
Volume 66
Issue 7
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 175-188
URL http://www.indianjmedsci.org/article.asp?issn=0019-5359;year=2012;volume=66;issue=7;spage=175;epage=​188;aulast=Bourne
Background: The World Health Organization developed a mathematical technique, which discount the life expectancy by the years spent in disability or morbidity. Health, therefore, must be more than morbidity as it expands to quality of life. It is within this framework that a study on childhood health in Jamaica is of vital importance. Objectives: To (1) expand the health literature in Jamaica and by extension the Caribbean, (2) understand the status of child health outside of mortality, (3) aid public health practitioners with research, upon which they are able to further improve the quality of life of children by adding quality to their lived years, (4) investigate the age at with children in Jamaica become influenced by chronic disease, it typology, and (5) evaluate the subjective wellbeing of children as is done for the general populace and elderly. Materials and Methods: The current study extracted a sample of 8,373 and 2,104 children 0-14 years from two surveys. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the socio-demographic characteristics of the sample. Data were analyzed using Chi-square and analysis of variance and independent sample t-test. Results: The current study found that a shift in health condition was noticed in 2007 over 2002. The number of children who had diarrhea fell by 84.2% in 2007 over 2002, and a similar reduction was observed for those with asthma (42.1% in 2002 and 19.7% in 2007). Another critical finding was that 1.2% of children, in 2007, had diabetes mellitus. CONCLUSION: Public health now has an epidemiological profile of health conditions of children and the demographic shifts, which are occurring, and this can be used for effective management and planning of the new health reality of the Jamaican child.

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