Unmet Health Needs for Sick Children in Mothers' Views in Rural Bangladesh

Nurul Alam, ICDDR,B: Centre for Health and Population Research

While a country's health policy aims to provide health services to all who need them, none has ever studied unmet health needs in users' perspectives in Bangladesh. This study examines the unmet health needs for 2,123 sick children in mothers' views by illness and child's characteristics. Data for this study came from the Matlab Health and Socioeconomic Survey (MHSS) conducted in 1996. The MHSS defined the unmet health needs using a mother's response to the question whether she felt that, to manage illness, her child had required health services that were not available at the time of illness. Analysis reveals that the prevalence of unmet health needs was 7 times higher for children with chronic morbidity than for children with acute morbidity. Unmet health needs were higher for children of poor households than for children of rich households. Policy implications of high unmet needs for chronic morbidity are discussed.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health and Mortality