Medical care-seeking behaviour and child health in sub-Saharan Africa: The role of maternal age and socio-economic status

Francis Obare, Population Council
Collins Opiyo, University of Pennsylvania

This paper uses Demographic and Health Survey data collected since 2000 to examine care-seeking behaviour for child health in 23 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. It focuses on the role of maternal age, maternal education, and household economic conditions on the likelihood of receiving medical treatment among children aged less than five years who had diarrhoea, fever or acute respiratory infection in the two weeks prior to the survey. The results show that children of younger mothers are less likely to receive medical treatment compared to those of older mothers in most of the countries. Likewise, children of mothers of low socio-economic status are less likely to receive medical treatment than those of mothers of high socio-economic status in a majority of the countries. This suggests that mothers who are young or of low socio-economic status continue to be disadvantaged in terms of access to child health services in the region.

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Presented in Poster Session 1