The Impact of Health Facilities on Child Health

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Author(s): Jensen E R, Stewart J F

Year: 2000

Within-family resource allocation plays an important role in child health. Nutrition and other preventive activities make demands on scarce resources, as does the obtaining of curative care when children become ill. While previous work has found impacts of within-household resource allocation on child illness, little effect of such variables on subsequent treatment has been found, and utilization of treatment facilities is low in many developing areas. One possible reason is that treatment costs or quality vary, and these variations are not observable in respondent-based survey data. We combine the 1993 Philippines DHS data with a facilities survey subsequently conducted for selected survey clusters in order to address in some detail the question of how facility characteristics, including their distance, density, and quality, affect the probability that children receive treatment for respiratory infections and diarrhea. Controlling statistically for the relationship between the initiating illness and subsequent treatment (or lack of it), we find that spending on secondary health facilities, such as hospitals and rural health units, is an important determinant of the probability that ill children receive curative care. Access, measured by respondents' travel times, also plays a role in obtaining treatment

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