CURATIVE HEALTH SEEKING BEHAVIOUR;
SOCIO-ECONOMIC INEQUALITIES IN CURATIVE HEALTH SEEKING BEHAVIOUR FOR UNDER-FIVE YEAR CHILDREN IN PAKISTAN.
Introduction: Health seeking behavior (HSB) is a sequence of complicated decisions that is based on socio-cultural and economic determinants. 17% of under 5 mortality in the Pakistan is due to diarrhea and around 11% of them die from pneumonia every year. Care givers are mostly parents whose HSB needs extensive study in-order to reduce childhood mortality from preventable diseases such as diarrhea and acute respiratory infection (ARI). Objectives: The following article reviews Pakistan Demographic and Household Survey (PDHS) 2012-2013 data to study the prevalence of diarrhea and ARI among under-5 children in Pakistan, to determine the HSB among under-five during their illness and to study the association of socio-economic profile with parents’ HSB. Study Design: Cross sectional descriptive study. Setting and Period: Children under-five years living with their parents as sampled by the 2012-13 PDHS were used to estimate the prevalence of diarrhea and ARI in preceding two-weeks. Material and Methods: After reviewing, the primary data of PDHS survey 2012-2013, dimensions of HSB, namely illness, medical care sought and provider (type and place), were examined in adjusted analysis for diarrhea or ARI when reported. Variables like socio-cultural capital including wealth index (for socio-economic profile) of parents were computed. Results: Out of 7064 children, 56% were less than 25 months, 25 % reported for diarrhea and 90.8% of them soughed treatment. Out of 35 % of those who had ARI, in the two-week period, 93.2% soughed treatment, 33.7% of it was informal, while for diarrhea it was 20.2%. In both illness’ treatment sought formally, was more from private health care provider. Conclusion: Wealth index was found to play an important role in HSB. Along with parental occupation, education and place of residence, it influences inequities in HSB. Child sex had no role in HSB for diarrhea and ARI.