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Child Health and Poverty in Pakistan

Author

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  • G. M. Arif

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)

Abstract

This study examines the health status of Pakistani children using two important indicators, morbidity and malnutrition measured by weight-for-age and height-for-age. The demand for medical services has also been determined. The main data source used in this study is the 2000-01 Pakistan Social-Economic Survey (PSES), which provides sufficient information on child health and poverty. Findings of the study show that both exclusive breastfeeding during the first 4-5 months of life and immunisation can help control the occurrence of illness significantly among the young children (0-5 months). These also reinforce the role of mother’s education in the production of child health (nutritional status). This role of mother’s education is found to be more pronounced in the poor families than in the non-poor families. The rise in poverty since the mid-1990s has adversely influenced the nutritional status of children. The basic issue is about how to reduce the household food insecurity. The benefits of recent high GDP growth may be transferred to the poor through employment generation, which has been slow in the past decade. Real incomes of the poor and the vulnerable segments of the population may also be protected against the rise in prices of essential food items. At present, the health and nutrition sector is getting only 0.7 percent of the GDP. Health care facilities in the country are curative in nature, and are heavily skewed in favour of the diagnostic and treatment side, not preventive healthcare aspects. More resources should be made available for preventive healthcare aspects. Coverage of child immunisation should be enhanced, and the provision of safe drinkingwater may be given high priority in the social sector policies.

Suggested Citation

  • G. M. Arif, 2004. "Child Health and Poverty in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 43(3), pages 211-238.
  • Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:43:y:2004:i:3:p:211-238
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    File URL: http://www.pide.org.pk/pdf/PDR/2004/GMArif.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Haddad, Lawrence James & Bhattarai, Saroj & Immink, Maarten D. C. & Kumar, Shubh K., 1996. "Managing interactions between household food security and preschooler health:," 2020 vision discussion papers 16, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. World Bank, 2002. "Poverty Assessment : Poverty in Pakistan - Vulnerabilities, Social Caps, and Rural Dynamics," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15335, The World Bank.
    3. Haddad, Lawrence James & Bhattarai, Saroj & Immink, Maarten D. C. & Kumar, Shubh K., 1996. "Managing interactions between household food security and preschooler health," FCND discussion papers 16, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Sohail J. Malik & Muhammad Hussain & Nasim S. Shirazi, 1994. "Role of Infaq in Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 935-952.
    5. G. M. Arif & Syed Mubashir Ali & Zafar Mueen Nasir & Nabeela Arshad, 2001. "An Introduction to the 1998-99 Pakistan Socioeconomic Survey (PSES)," MIMAP Technical Paper Series 2001:04, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    6. Haroon Jamal, 2003. "Poverty and Inequality during the Adjustment Decade: Empirical Findings from Household Surveys," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 125-135.
    7. Sarfraz K. Qureshi & G. M. Arif, 2001. "Profile of Poverty in Pakistan, 1998-99," MIMAP Technical Paper Series 2001:05, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    8. Rashid Amjad, 2003. "Solving Pakistan's Poverty Puzzle: Whom Should We Believe? What Should We Do?," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 42(4), pages 375-393.
    9. Rashid Amjad & A.R. Kemal, 1997. "Macroeconomic Policies and their Impact on Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 39-68.
    10. Zafar Iqbal & Abdus Sattar, 2005. "The Contribution of Workers’Remittances to Economic Growth in Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 2005:187, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. G. M. Arif & Shujaat Farooq & Saman Nazir & Maryam Satti, 2014. "Child Malnutrition and Poverty: The Case of Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 53(2), pages 99-118.
    2. Aslam, Monazza & Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, 2012. "Parental Education and Child Health—Understanding the Pathways of Impact in Pakistan," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 2014-2032.
    3. Aslam, Monazza & Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, 2012. "Parental Education and Child Health—Understanding the Pathways of Impact in Pakistan," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 2014-2032.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Medical; Child Health;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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