Women’s Social Context and the Care of Sick Children in Rural Bangladesh

Nurul Alam, ICDDR,B: Centre for Health and Population Research
Ian M. Timaeus, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

This study examines the associations between women’s position in the household and community (here it is village) and the care of children with acute illnesses in rural Bangladesh using data of the Matlab Health and Socioeconomic Survey conducted in 1996. Women’s position is indicated by their education, domestic autonomy, social capital and household socioeconomic status, and their village-level position is indicated by percentage of ever-married women who have high autonomy, social capital and education. The results show that children are more likely to be treated by health providers over home-care if their mothers have education and high social capital in the village, controlling for illness and child’s characteristics. Household socioeconomic status is the strongest predictor of use of trained providers (doctors or paramedics) over others. High village-level women’s education and short distance to trained providers are associated with increased use of such providers.

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Presented in Session 43: Community Influences on Health and Mortality