Inter-district variation in socio-economic inequalities in maternal healthcare utilisation in rural Assam, 2007-08

By Aditya Singh, Saradiya Mukherjee, and Rakesh Chandra

Using data from third round of District Level Household Survey conducted in 2007-08, the study attempts to measure socio-economic inequality by type of maternal care-antenatal care, delivery care and postnatal carein rural Assam, with a focus on inter-district variations. Results indicate that the utilisation of maternal health care in the state is characterised by substantial pro-rich inequalities. The inter-district disparity in socio-economic inequality in maternal health care is also conspicuous. The efforts to increase the average without a component of equity in the programme could actually further aggravate existing pro-rich inequalities. In the light of immenseinter-district variation in the level of socio-economic inequality in maternal health care utilisation, any future efforts by government or any other stakeholders should, not only focus on improving overall utilisation level, but also on reducing inter-district variation in socio-economic inequalities.

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