Do inequalities in Child health get wider as countries develop? (pp. 275-280)
Authors: Nayan Chakravarty and Sanghamitra Pati
Abstract: The future of any nation hinges on the health and nutrition status of its children. Over the last few decades, despite the reduction in infant mortality rate and improvement of child health in general, it is largely debated whether there has been gross inequity in this achievement. As a country develops it is expected that its development would have a rippling effect across the entire population. This paper would consider different arguments and counter arguments regarding the causes of inequality in child health. Methods: Extensive review of literature during 1976-2011 was conducted. Results: There seems to be no clear cut relationship between the development of a country and inequalities in child health due to the complexity in measuring both these areas. Any relationship is complicated by context and this can be seen in the literature which is at many times contradictory. Determinates that influence child health and mortality discussed are not only complex but are also overlapping and it is often a combination of contextual factors that influence a child health. Conclusion: Overall, critical child health indicators, particularly child survival, have improved globally but improvements in some countries or particular regions of countries have not been seen. The absolute differences have come down but the relative difference still remains the same. It is evident that people who have the greatest need are often the ones that receive the least as stated in the ‘inverse care law’.