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‘Looking beyond the male–female dichotomy’ – Sibling composition and child immunization in India, 1992–2006
Authors: Prashant Kumar Singh, and Sulabha Parasuraman
Source: Social Science and Medicine, 107:145-53. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.02.017.
Topic(s): Child health
Country: Asia
Published: APR 2014
Abstract: This study examines trends in gender differentials in child immunization beyond the conventional male–female dichotomy, by considering older surviving sibling composition between 1992 and 2006 in India. The present study adopts the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for appraising full immunization among children utilising three rounds of the National Family Health Survey. Twelve combinations of sex composition of surviving older siblings were constructed. Bivariate differentials and pooled multilevel logistic regression analysis were conducted to assess the trends and patterns of child immunization with respect to various categories of older surviving sibling composition. Although child immunization increased between 1992 and 2006, majority of all eligible children did not receive the recommended immunization. Further, full immunization significantly varies by twelve categories of siblings composition during 1992–2006. The probability of full immunization among male children who did not have any older surviving sibling was 60% in 2005–06, while it was just 26% among female children who had 1+ older surviving sister and brother. This study emphasizes the need to integrate sibling issues in child immunization as a prioritized component in the ongoing Universal Immunization Programme, which could be an effective step towards ensuring full immunization coverage among Indian children.