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Socio-economic Inequality of Child Immunization in the Eastern and North-Eastern States of India
Authors: Subhash Barman, and Partha De
Source: Demography India, Special Issue(2017): 16-26
Topic(s): Child health
Country: Asia
Published: APR 2017
Abstract: Child immunization is an important issue for the survival of younger children in India. A recent study by World Health Organization (WHO, 2016) on child immunization pointed out that socio-economic and demographic differences in child immunization coverage have been receiving less attention than that of geographical monitoring within immunization programmes. In India evidence from NFHS (National Family Health Survey) data clearly mentioned that there was a little progress from NFHS 2 (1998-99) to NFHS 3 (2005-06) in full immunization coverage in the country. Children not fully immunized have declined only by two percentage point (from 58% to 56%) during the period. Considering child immunization for the age group 12-23 months, about 71 percent children received full vaccination from household belonging to wealthiest quintile, but the figure is only 26 percent in case of poorest quintile.The study attempts to examine wealth related inequalities across different groups of population and states in the Eastern and North-Eastern regions of the country. Concentration index is applied using NFHS 3 data to measure the wealth related inequalities across the states. Inequalities in childhood immunization are also measured on the basis of some socio-economic and demographic characteristics.The immunization status of children from NFHS 3 data are categorized under five quintiles of wealth index to find out the discrepancies among different social groups in the selected states of the country. The study reports that inequalitiesare high in the states of Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram. On the other hand, Sikkim, Meghalaya experience minimum level of inequality in child immunization. Similarly, among eastern states, Orissa has the highest inequality than the otherEastern states. However, except Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur all the remaining states in the selected regions experience less inequality in childhood immunization than the all India level.