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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 217-219

Wealth index and maternal health care: Revisiting NFHS-3

1 Associate Professor, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Resident, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India
3 Director Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India
4 Research Scholar, Department of Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India
5 Epidemiologist-cum-Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, SHKM Government Medical College, Nalhar, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Pritam Roy
Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi - 110 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-557X.164665

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The third National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) is a large dataset on indicators of family welfare, maternal and child health, and nutrition in India. This article using NFHS-3 data is an attempt to bring out the impact of economic status, i.e., the wealth index on maternal health. The study was based on an analysis of the NFHS-3 data. Independent variables taken were the wealth index, literacy, and age at first child birth. Effects of these variables on the maternal health care services were investigated. Out of the total 124,385 women aged 15-49 years included in the NFHS-3 dataset, 36,850 (29.6%) had one or more childbirth during the past 5 years. The number of antenatal care (ANC) visits increased as the wealth index increased and there was a pattern for choice of place of delivery (for all deliveries during the last 5 years) according to the wealth index. Logistic regression analysis of the abovementioned variables were sought to find out the independent role of key determinants of the different aspects of maternal health care. It showed that the wealth index is the leading key independent determinant for three or more ANC received: Tetanus toxoid (TT) received before delivery, iron tablet/syrup taken for more than 100 days, and institutional delivery. Mother's literacy was the leading independent key determinant for early antenatal registration. The study suggested that along with the mother's literacy, the wealth index that is an important predictor of maternal health care can be added for categorization of the districts for providing differential approach for maternal health care services.

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