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Social Determinants of Children’s Health in Urban Areas in India

Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved – Volume 20, Number 4, November 2009 Supplement, pp. 68-89

Social Determinants of Children’s Health in Urban Areas in India

Siddharth Agarwal, Aradhana Srivastava

Children of the urban poor in India suffer a much poorer health status than the urban non-poor, influenced to a large extent by social determinants. In this paper, National Family Health Survey-3 (2005–06) data were analyzed to assess the health status of urban poor children vis-à-vis the non-poor, and to identify the social determinants precipitating disparities.

The analysis shows sharp disparity between child health indicators between urban poor and non-poor. Key findings include under-five mortality per thousand (urban poor 72.7 and non-poor 41.8) and children under-five underweight for age (urban poor 47% and non-poor 26.2%). Significant demographic and social correlates of child health in urban areas included poverty, gender, caste status, religion, mother’s educational attainment, occupational status of parents, and women’s autonomy in the household. They influenced different facets of child health, such as nutritional status and access to immunization.

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