Economic development and health status among the poor in squatter settlements of Karachi

Fauziah Rabbani, Anwer T. Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Socioeconomic status is an important determinant of health outcome measures. This study examines and presents some of the important health outcomes amongst the higher and lower Socioeconomic groups within the urban poor. Setting: Data analysis is based on a Health and Demographic Survey conducted in urban squatter settlements of Karachi in 1996. Methods: A structured questionnaire was administered to all households in the catchment area. The indicator used to assess economic status is ownership of assets. Results: Comparison between the two economic levels shows that the lower socio-economic group was more likely to experience child mortality, (CI; 1.02-1.29, p= 0.02) have lower contraceptive usage (CI;2.11-2.64; p<0.001) and childhood immunization rates (CI; 2.08-2.40, p< 0.001). No significant association was observed between economic levels and prevalence of diarrhea. The housing, literacy and employment status was consistently better in the higher economic stratum who were more likely to be Pushto-Punjabi speaking as compared to the Sindhi speaking population. Conclusion: To have sustainable improvement in the health status of the poor, those who are most vulnerable need to be identified and programs aiming to improve health should also undertake broader development initiatives like raising family income.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-121
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Volume49
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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