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Utilization of maternal health care services in Southern India


  • Navaneetham, K.
  • Dharmalingam, A.


This paper examines the patterns and determinants of maternal health care utilization across different social settings in south India: in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) carried out during 1992-93 across most states in India are used. Results show that utilization of maternal health care services is highest in Kerala followed by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Utilization of maternal health care services is not only associated with a range of reproductive, socio-economic, cultural and program factors but also with state and type of health service. The interstate differences in utilization could be partly due to variations in the implementation of maternal health care program as well as differences in availability and accessibility between the states. In the case of antenatal care, there was no significant rural-urban gap, thanks to the role played by the multipurpose health workers posted in the rural areas to provide maternal health care services. The findings of this study provide insights for planning and implementing appropriate maternal health service delivery programs in order to improve the health and well-being of both mother and child.

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  • Navaneetham, K. & Dharmalingam, A., 2002. "Utilization of maternal health care services in Southern India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(10), pages 1849-1869, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:55:y:2002:i:10:p:1849-1869

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    Cited by:

    1. K. Navaneetham & M.Kabir & C.S Krishnakumar, 2009. "Morbidity patterns in Kerala: Levels and determinants," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers 411, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.
    2. Mansour Farahani & S. V. Subramanian & David Canning, 2010. "Effects of state-level public spending on health on the mortality probability in India," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(11), pages 1361-1376.
    3. Das Gupta,Monica, 2015. "?Missing girls? in the south Caucasus countries : trends, possible causes, and policy options," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7236, The World Bank.
    4. Sheabo Dessalegn, S., 2017. "Social capital and maternal health care use in rural Ethiopia," Other publications TiSEM bb0ec225-4ec3-4028-90d6-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. George, Sobin, 2015. "Caste and Care: Is Indian Healthcare Delivery System Favourable for Dalits?," Working Papers 350, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
    6. Hajara Umar Sanda, 2014. "Media Awareness and Utilization of Antenatal Care Services by Pregnant Women in Kano State- Nigeria," Journal of Social Science Studies, Macrothink Institute, vol. 1(2), pages 85-111, July.
    7. Makate, Marshall & Makate, Clifton, 2016. "The Evolution of Socioeconomic-Related Inequalities in Maternal Healthcare Utilization: Evidence from Zimbabwe, 1994-2011," MPRA Paper 72718, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Jul 2016.
    8. Dodd, Warren & King, Nia & Humphries, Sally & Little, Matthew & Dewey, Cate, 2016. "Self-reported morbidity and health service utilization in rural Tamil Nadu, India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 118-125.
    9. Luke, Nancy & Munshi, Kaivan, 2007. "Social affiliation and the demand for health services: Caste and child health in South India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 256-279, July.
    10. Biswajit Mandal, 2015. "Demand for maternal health inputs in West Bengal-Inference from NFHS 3 in India," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2685-2700.
    11. Sunil, T.S. & Rajaram, S. & Zottarelli, Lisa K., 2006. "Do individual and program factors matter in the utilization of maternal care services in rural India? A theoretical approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(8), pages 1943-1957, April.
    12. Patience Aseweh Abor & Gordon Abekah-Nkrumah & Kojo Sakyi & Charles K.D. Adjasi & Joshua Abor, 2011. "The socio-economic determinants of maternal health care utilization in Ghana," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 628-648, June.
    13. Ying Liang & Minglei Guo, 2015. "Utilization of Health Services and Health-Related Quality of Life Research of Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China: A Cross-Sectional Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 120(1), pages 277-295, January.
    14. Sowmya Dhanaraj, 2015. "Determinants of Child Health: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 2015-136, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    15. Kozhimannil, Katy Backes & Valera, Madeleine R. & Adams, Alyce S. & Ross-Degnan, Dennis, 2009. "The population-level impacts of a national health insurance program and franchise midwife clinics on achievement of prenatal and delivery care standards in the Philippines," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 55-64, September.
    16. Mônica Viegas Andrade & Kenya Valéria M. de Souza Noronha & Abhishek Singh & Cristina Guimarães Rodrigues & Sabu S. Padmadas, 2011. "Equidade na utilização dos serviços de saúde no Brasil: um estudo comparativo entre as regiões brasileiras no período 1998-2008," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG td446, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
    17. Güneş, Pınar Mine, 2015. "The role of maternal education in child health: Evidence from a compulsory schooling law," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-16.
    18. Eric Arthur, 2012. "Wealth and antenatal care use: implications for maternal health care utilisation in Ghana," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-8, December.
    19. Yusuke Kamiya, 2010. "Endogenous Women's Autonomy and the Use of Reproductive Health Services: Empirical Evidence from Tajikistan," OSIPP Discussion Paper 10E010, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
    20. Prashant Kumar Singh & Rajesh Kumar Rai & Lucky Singh, 2012. "Examining the Effect of Household Wealth and Migration Status on Safe Delivery Care in Urban India, 1992–2006," Working Papers id:5142, eSocialSciences.
    21. Mandal, Biswajit, 2015. "Demand for Maternal health inputs in West Bengal-Inference from NFHS 3," MPRA Paper 68224, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Shroff, Monal R. & Griffiths, Paula L. & Suchindran, Chirayath & Nagalla, Balakrishna & Vazir, Shahnaz & Bentley, Margaret E., 2011. "Does maternal autonomy influence feeding practices and infant growth in rural India?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 447-455, August.
    23. Premchand Dommaraju & Victor Agadjanian & Scott Yabiku, 2008. "The Pervasive and Persistent Influence of Caste on Child Mortality in India," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 27(4), pages 477-495, August.


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