Bennett, Adam, Thom Eisele, Joseph Keating, and Josh Yukich. 2015. Global Trends in Care Seeking and Access to Diagnosis and Treatment of Childhood Illnesses. DHS Working Papers No. 116. Rockville, Maryland, USA: ICF International.
Diarrhea, malaria, and acute respiratory infection (ARI) are among the leading causes of
child mortality worldwide, with the greatest burden concentrated in developing countries. Child
mortality has declined in recent years as a result of socioeconomic development and affordable
and effective prevention and treatment options, yet many countries in Asia and Africa are not on
track to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4—to reduce child mortality by two-thirds
by 2015. Although evidence suggests that an increase in targeted interventions can accelerate child
survival, a strong health care system is a necessary prerequisite for sustained reductions in
preventable child deaths.
An investigation into commonalities across countries and regions is needed to understand
trends in treatment-seeking behavior and how sociodemographic and cultural factors interact to
influence treatment-seeking modalities. This information will strengthen efficient delivery of care
across all levels of the health system. Although many studies have documented barriers to
accessing quality care, systematic analysis of these barriers is lacking. Yet large amounts of data
are currently available (1) to identify and quantify the major barriers hindering access to quality
care, and (2) to specify where these barriers are most prominent, relative to health care needs at
the subnational level.