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Pattern and Determinants of Maternal and Child Healthcare Services Among Tribals: With a Special Reference to Tribal Regions of Odisha

Prasant Kumar Panda and Chittaranjan Subudhi

Journal of Development Policy and Practice, 2020, vol. 5, issue 2, 167-183

Abstract: Maternal and child healthcare (MCHC) is an important aspect of healthcare that poses major challenges in the healthcare system. Despite the implementation of various MCHC programmes and policies, MCHC development in India is still grossly lagging. The tribal populations and tribal-dominated areas are more vulnerable, and they are more or less deprived of their basic right to MCHC services. In this context, this article is a modest attempt to analyse the pattern of MCHC services among tribals in India with a special reference to the tribal-dominated districts of Odisha. Besides, the article also aims to explore the factors determining low MCHC achievements in these regions. Secondary data have been used from National Family Health Surveys and other published documents by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for the study. Simple percentage ratio method and multiple regression techniques have been employed to substantiate the objectives. It is observed that MCHC indicators among tribals and tribal-dominated areas are lagging behind the national indicators and a multipronged approach with an emphasis on effective implementation of schemes in tribal areas is highly required. Districts with dense tribal populations in Odisha are placed among the low-performing districts in MCHC. Women’s education and marriage below legal age emerged significant in determining institutional delivery rate in districts of Odisha. While the coefficient for women’s literacy is positive, it is found to be negative for marriage below legal age. Mother’s education significantly contributes to children’s immunisation as well. The findings suggest the importance of a long-term strategy like improvement of women’s education for MCHC developments. In addition to development of education and awareness, maternal and child health schemes also need to be made available in tribal areas by provision of services in hilly and inaccessible regions and by breaking cultural barriers.

Keywords: Tribal health; maternal health; child health; right to health; determinants of maternal and child healthcare; education; child marriage (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/2455133320935536

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Handle: RePEc:sae:jodepp:v:5:y:2020:i:2:p:167-183