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Article
Publication date: 24 June 2020

Johan Rewilak

This article examines whether increasing the income of the poor – measured as the income of the lowest quintile – is more beneficial in reducing infant and child mortality

Abstract

Purpose

This article examines whether increasing the income of the poor – measured as the income of the lowest quintile – is more beneficial in reducing infant and child mortality rates compared with increases in average income. Given the global importance in reducing infant mortality, the value of this research is important to academics, policymakers and practitioners alike.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 86 countries from 1995–2014 inclusive, our preferred estimation strategy uses an instrumental variable fixed-effects estimator.

Findings

Our results propose that the elasticity of the income of the lowest quintile never exceeds that of average income. Therefore, if reducing infant and child mortality is a key policy goal, then boosting average income may be preferable to raising incomes at the lower end of the distribution.

Originality/value

Given these findings, we open a gateway for new literature to add to this unexplored area of research in the income and health relationship.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 48 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2020

Lubna Naz and Kamalesh Kumar Patel

The aim of this paper is to examine biological, maternal and socioeconomic determinants of infant mortality in Sierra Leone.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine biological, maternal and socioeconomic determinants of infant mortality in Sierra Leone.

Design/methodology/approach

It uses an analytical framework and Cox proportional hazards regression to break down the effects of factors determining infant mortality. Factors utilized in the empirical investigation include sex of the child, birth size, birth spacing, mother's working status, age of mother, antenatal care, postnatal care, mother's anemia level, religion, mother's education and wealth status.

Findings

Results suggest that birth spacing of three years and above associated with a reduced risk of infant mortality contrasted with short birth intervals. Children born to nonanemic mothers have a lower hazard (22%) of infant mortality compared to those born to anemic mothers (HR = 0.78; 95% CI: 0.64–0.96). At least one antenatal care visit by mothers lowers infant mortality rate by 41% compared to no antenatal visits at all ( HR = 0.59; 95% CI: 0.36–0.96). Similarly, infants whose mothers have received postnatal care are at lower risk (31%) of dying than those whose mothers have not received (HR = 0.69; 95% CI: 0.52, 0.93). Infant mortality is likely to decrease with the increase in the birth order.

Practical implications

The family health and planning programs should aim at educating men and women about the usefulness of birth spacing methods.

Originality/value

This paper might be the first attempt to analyze the determinants of infant mortality by utilizing a methodological framework and Cox regression.

Peer review

The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/IJSE-08-2019-0478.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 47 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1983

A.T. Flegg

Infant mortality has fallen rapidly in underdeveloped countries in the period since World War II. There is accumulating evidence, however, that this unprecedented decline…

Abstract

Infant mortality has fallen rapidly in underdeveloped countries in the period since World War II. There is accumulating evidence, however, that this unprecedented decline was arrested in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Hence it is of critical importance to enquire into the determinants of infant mortality in these countries, in order to discover ways of reducing the enormous human suffering caused by the high rates of mortality which continue to prevail. Furthermore, such an understanding might facilitate a reduction in fertility, since it is widely accepted that a fall in infant mortality will lead ultimately to lower fertility .

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 3 March 2020

Oluyemi Theophilus Adeosun and Omolara Morounkeji Faboya

Health improves the proficiency and output generated by individuals. It also raises physical as well as mental abilities, which are required for the growth and advancement…

Abstract

Purpose

Health improves the proficiency and output generated by individuals. It also raises physical as well as mental abilities, which are required for the growth and advancement of any economy. Many infant diseases have been recognised via contemporary technology in a bid to tackle these diseases. However, children within the African continent (Including Nigeria) die en masse from diseases. This has made the government of Nigeria allocate sizeable part of the nation's budget to healthcare system. The allocation to health is, however, yet to translate to improved health condition for Nigerians. It does not measure up to the World Health Organization's (WHO) standards for apportioning budget to the health sector. This study also analyses empirically the impact of healthcare expenses on the mortality level of infants as well as Nigeria's neonatal mortality level.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper focuses on Nigeria. Vector auto regression model techniques, unit root tests and cointegration test were carried out using time series date for the period between 1986 and 2016.

Findings

The outcome has revealed that expenditure on healthcare possesses a negative correlation with the mortality of infants and neonates. The study discovers that if the Nigerian government raises and maintains health expenditure specifically on activities focused on minimising infant mortality, it will translate to reduction in infant mortality in Nigeria.

Originality/value

This paper has contributed exhaustively to solution to poor expenditure on healthcare, especially child mortality, in Nigeria.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2010

Rati Ram

The purpose of this paper is to study the cross‐country relation between initial levels of infant‐, child‐ and maternal‐mortality and their rates of decline so as to see…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the cross‐country relation between initial levels of infant‐, child‐ and maternal‐mortality and their rates of decline so as to see whether the so‐called Matthew effect or the inverse‐care principle operates relative to these three important health indicators.

Design/methodology/approach

Data on the three variables for a large number of countries covering several periods between 1950 and 2007 are considered. Signs and significance of correlations between initial levels and the rates of decline over the period, and of coefficients of initial levels in regressions of rates of decline on the initial level, are studied.

Findings

First, in a broad global context, higher initial levels of mortality are associated with significantly lower rates of decline in each of the three indicators for every period, thus providing strong support to the operation of the inverse‐care principle and the Matthew effect. Second, the high‐income countries (and transition economies) deviate from the global pattern. Third, following Hart's suggestion, the parametric contrast between the high income and the developing groups may be interpreted as indicative of stronger government intervention in the healthcare sector in high‐income countries. Fourth, the contrast may thus indicate the desirability of greater government intervention in provision of healthcare in developing countries. Fifth, operation of the inverse‐care principle and the Matthew effect is observed even in the absence of high‐HIV prevalence. Sixth, the observed negative covariation between initial mortality and its rate of decline implies cross‐country divergence in these core indicators of health.

Originality/value

First, this is the only study to investigate the operation of the inverse‐care principle relative to infant mortality for such a large number of countries and such a long period. Second, it is also the only study to extend the investigation to child‐mortality and maternal‐mortality, which are heavily emphasized in the millennium development goals. Third, the patterns are studied not only merely for the entire set of countries, but also for several subgroups. Fourth, the observed parametric contrasts are interpreted as possibly reflecting the importance of government intervention in the healthcare sector in mitigating the operation of the inverse‐care phenomenon. Fifth, an effort is made to factor out the role of HIV so as to show that the pattern is not significantly altered by high prevalence of HIV in poor countries. Sixth, the implied cross‐country divergence in these important health variables is suggestive of the need for caution in interpreting the conclusions stated by some scholars about convergence in several quality‐of‐life indicators. Last, contrary to what some scholars have suggested, not merely does it not seem to be the case that the inverse‐care proposition relative to infant mortality is observed only in exceptional cases, but the reported evidence suggests that the proposition holds globally over long periods even for child‐ and maternal‐mortality.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 7 February 2020

Bocong Yuan, Zhaoguo Wang and Jiannan Li

The West Africa coastal area faced with the serious health challenge is the most underdeveloped place. Through making the visualized spatial analysis of this area, this…

Abstract

Purpose

The West Africa coastal area faced with the serious health challenge is the most underdeveloped place. Through making the visualized spatial analysis of this area, this study aims to identify which factor of social vulnerability predominantly affects infant mortality.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses the spatial data available from NASA-affiliated institution and a geographic information system for analysis.

Findings

This study reveals that the Poverty and Adaptive Capacity Index, as economic aspect of social vulnerability, is spatially correlated with the infant mortality rate, whereas the Population Exposure Index, as population aspect of social vulnerability, does not. Thus, the economic rather than population factor is probably the driving force of high infant mortality.

Originality/value

This study clarifies the determinant of infant mortality in the West Africa coastal area in space dimension.

Details

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4902

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2008

Uzma Iram and Muhammad S. Butt

The main purpose of this study is to identify and quantify the relative importance of various socioeconomic factors and maternal care practices which may have significant…

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this study is to identify and quantify the relative importance of various socioeconomic factors and maternal care practices which may have significant role in determining child mortality at different level of child ages in Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper examines the role of household, demographic and environment factors as determinants of early children mortality in Pakistan. A number of individual, household and local characteristics are related to the probability of child mortality. This study employed a sequential model which is based on a sequence of binary choice models for the conditional probability of choosing a higher response category.

Findings

This study identifies that mother feeding protects children from early exposure to diseases and ill‐health in different ways. It also appeared that mother's education is strongly related to neonatal mortality, infant mortality as well as child mortality not only through the improved child caring practices but also through other proximate determinants such as prenatal care, income and environmental contamination.

Research limitations/implications

Social policies attempting to promote early initiation of mother feeding and utilization of prenatal care could make major contribution to the reduction of under five years mortality in Pakistan

Practical implications

Health care intervention programmes should focus on illiterate mothers whose children have all the cumulative risks due to poor health care utilization.

Originality/value

This could be the first ever effort in describing child mortality status with the help of sequential probit technique for Pakistan.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 35 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2010

Muhiuddin Haider and Avinandan Mukherjee

Neonatal healthcare is a critical issue in public health management. The purpose of this paper is to analyze neonatal health in South Asia. This paper specifically…

Abstract

Purpose

Neonatal healthcare is a critical issue in public health management. The purpose of this paper is to analyze neonatal health in South Asia. This paper specifically examines the neonatal period of an infant's development, the time from birth to the first 28 days, and the importance of providing each newborn with the necessary vaccines, treatments, and care they may require. In addition to examining neonatal health and those diseases/problems that afflict children without proper care, a closer look will be taken at Southern Asia, where research shows nearly 75 percent of the neonatal deaths that take place in the world, occur.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive literature review using recently published works, government documents, and organizational reports is employed. The research is based on case studies of six South Asian countries and several international participating agencies and non‐governmental organizations working on the improvement of neonatal health.

Findings

The research shows that the majority of the countries in this region lack the funds necessary to provide aide, health services, and other preventative care to their populations. Without the global attention, intervention, and resources provided by these organizations, any progress made in the area of neonatal health in these regions will continue to be hampered. A social marketing framework designed to address this critical public health challenge is presented.

Originality/value

In the modern world, much advancement has been made in terms of neonatal and maternal health and well‐being. As the years have passed, the world has seen many improvements on clinical procedures, health policies and regulations, the quality of training for doctors, nurses, and related specialists, and the various pieces of medical equipment used throughout those hospitals and clinics located within the developing world. Unfortunately, data provided by various research efforts have shown that neonatal mortality continues to occur at high rates throughout countries in South Asia. Individuals in these countries lack access to health care, health education, and other essential components that influence a mother's ability to produce a healthy child and keep that child safe and illness/issue free throughout this fragile period.

Details

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6123

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1977

GEORGE C. THEODORIDIS and ERNST O. ATTINGER

Possible approaches to the formulation of health indicators and the uncertainties that should be associated with such indicators are discussed. As an illustration, two…

Abstract

Possible approaches to the formulation of health indicators and the uncertainties that should be associated with such indicators are discussed. As an illustration, two health indicators are formulated, one reflecting the degree of premature mortality in a population, and one reflecting the impact of health on the ratio between the productive and the dependent age groups in a population. Illustrative values of these indicators are computed for various countries and are compared with the corresponding values of the customary health indicators of life expectancy and infant mortality. The indication of the margin of error that should be attached to such indicators if they are to be regarded as measures of population “health” is obtained by observing the extent to which these different indicators correlate with each other when their values for various countries are considered.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Chamunorwa Nyamuranga and Jaeun Shin

The purpose of this paper is to empirically assess the effect of public health expenditure on child mortality in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically assess the effect of public health expenditure on child mortality in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region in comparison to the developing world as a whole and the region of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Design/methodology/approach

This study used panel data extracted from the World Development Indicators database for the period 2000–2013 for 98 developing countries including 15 SADC countries. A dynamic panel data model of child mortality was estimated using the system generalized method of moments technique.

Findings

Results indicate that public health expenditure has a statistically significant effect on reducing infant and under-five mortality rates in the developing world, and that this effect is strongest in the SADC. Immunization and female literacy contributed significantly to the prevention of deaths of infants and children under five in developing countries. In the region of SSA, improved water sources and the reduction in the prevalence of HIV were found to be effective in reducing childhood mortality. There was little evidence for the benefit of higher GDP per capita.

Practical implications

The findings of this study suggest four policy areas which should be prioritized in public health spending to achieve better health among children: ensuring that females have better access to education, providing immunizations, intensifying interventions against the spread of HIV/AIDS, and improving water and sanitation infrastructure.

Originality/value

This study, which shows that the benefits of public health expenditure may be augmented by regional collaborations like the SADC, is one of the first to explore regional heterogeneity in the effectiveness of public health expenditure for the improvement of children’s health across the developing world.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 46 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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