Maternal education and child healthcare in Bangladesh

Type Journal Article - Maternal and child health journal
Title Maternal education and child healthcare in Bangladesh
Volume 12
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
Page numbers 43-51
Child health is one of the important indicators for describing mortality conditions, health progress and the overall social and economic well being of a country. During the last 15 years, although Bangladesh has achieved a significant reduction in the child mortality rate, the levels still remain very high. The utilization of qualified providers does not lead to the desired level; only a third relies on qualified providers. This study is mainly aimed at investigating the influence of maternal education on health status and the utilization of child healthcare services in Bangladesh. This study is based on the data of the Household Income Expenditure Survey (HIES) conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) during 2000. The analysis of the findings reveals that 19.4% of the children under five reported sickness during 30 days prior to the survey date. Moreover, approximately one out of every thirteen children suffers from diarrhoea in the country. It is striking to note that a significant portion of the parents relied on unqualified or traditional providers for the children’s healthcare because of low cost, easy accessibility and familiarity of the services. The study suggests that maternal education is a powerful and significant determinant of child health status in Bangladesh. Maternal education also positively affects the number of children receiving vaccination. In order to improve the health condition of children in Bangladesh maternal education should be given top priority. The public policies should not just focus on education alone, but also consider other factors, such as access to health facilities and quality of services. Health awareness campaign should be strengthened as part of the public health promotion efforts. More emphasis should also be given to government-NGO (Non Government Organization) partnerships that make vaccination programs successful and, thereby, reduce the incidence of preventable diseases.

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