Effect of household environment and family’s economics status on child health status in urban India

Mayank Kumar Singh, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Context: The process of urbanization is rapidly unfolding, associated with enormous challenges of providing decent housing facilities, safe drinking-water and hygienic sanitation to urban dwellers in India. However, recent evidence suggests tremendous shortage of essential housing, water and sanitation facility in urban areas, especially among the urban poor. How the unavailability and deficiencies in urban amenities (housing, safe drinking water and sanitation facility) influence the health status of population, especially child health status in Urban India is not properly understood, and poses critical challenges for health professionals and planners, given relatively poor nutritional status and high infant & child mortality scenario. Objectives: We investigate the relationship between availability household amenities (quality of housing, drinking water, sanitation facility and cooking fuel) and child health & nutritional status after adjusting for critical socioeconomic, demographic and contextual confounding variables. Data & Methods: We used cross-sectional data from third round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) conducted in 2005-06. The analysis is based on 19,483 children below five years of age. The main outcome variables related to health status of children are-diarrhea, and acute respiratory infections. Anthropometric measures of weight-for-age (underweight), height-for-age (stunting) and weight-for-height (wasting) are used to assess the nutritional status of children. Cross-tabulations, Chi-square test and logistic regressions models have been used to fulfill objectives of the study. Findings: Result indicates significant differentials in child health (ARI & diarrhea) and nutritional status (stunting, wasting and underweight) according to availability of housing amenities in urban India. However, these crude variations become insignificant once controlled for critical socioeconomic and demographic confounders in the logistic regression analysis. We do not find any significant association between housing amenities and child health and nutritional status in India. However, mother education and household economic status remains critical factors governing child health and nutrition in urban India.

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Presented in Poster Session 3