Socioeconomic Factors Differentiating Maternal and Child Health-Seeking Behavior in Rural Bangladesh

Ruhul Amin, Johns Hopkins University
Nirali M. Shah, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Using data from a household survey of 3, 498 currently married women of rural Bangladesh, conducted in 2006, this study examined both curative and preventive health seeking behavior in seven areas of maternal and child health care--antenatal care, postnatal care, child delivery care, mother's receipt of Vitamin A postpartum, newborn care, care during recent child fever episodes, and maternal coverage by tetanus toxoid (TT). A principal finding was that a household's poverty status, as reflected by a wealth index, was a major determinant in health seeking behavior. Mothers in the highest wealth quintile were significantly more likely to use modern trained providers for basic health and reproductive health services than those in the lowest quintile. This differential was less pronounced for EPI items, such as TT, BCG, and DPT. Implications of these findings are discussed in the paper.

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Presented in Poster Session 2