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Sibling composition and child immunization in India and Pakistan, 1990-2007
Authors: Singh PK, and Parsuraman S.
Source: World Journal of Pediatrics, 10(2):145-50. doi: 10.1007/s12519-014-0483-z.
Topic(s): Child health
Country: Asia
  Multiple Asian Countries
Published: MAY 2014
Abstract: BACKGROUND: This study aimed to assess trends in gender differentials in child immunization beyond the conventional male-female dichotomy, by considering gender, surviving siblings, birth order and different compositions of older siblings in tandem, during 1990-2007 in India and Pakistan. METHODS: Using different rounds of Demographic and Health Survey datasets, we adopted the World Health Organization guidelines for appraising full immunization among children. Sex composition of surviving older siblings was combined. Cochrane-Armitage and the Chi-square tests were used to test linear and nonlinear trends, respectively. RESULTS: Although child immunization has increased during the period of 1990-2007 in both India and Pakistan, results showed that more than 50% of the eligible children did not receive the recommended immunization. The results also showed that boys and girls with no older surviving siblings and those with only surviving siblings of the opposite sex appeared to have fully immunized proportionally compared with the children with other sibling compositions. CONCLUSION: The findings confirmed that girls and boys were not always treated equally, and that there was a clear pattern of selective neglect in child immunization in both countries during the period of 1990-2007.