Selection and utilization of indicators to measure maternal and child health inequalities in the Latin American (LA) Region


Marcela Cortés-Jofré
Mario Tristán
Francisco Becerra-Posada
Angeline Serré


Health Inequalities, Maternal Welfare, Child Health


Health inequalities are differences in health across population groups defined by socioeconomic, demographic, or geographic factors. The access and availability to public health services for the peoples of the Americas varies in terms of coverage and quality. The MASCOT Consortium defined a set of health and PROGRESS indicators as to perform an initial assessment of the maternal and child health (MCH) in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, and México. Methodology: Using a list of the original categories with descriptions set by the World Health Organization (WHO), we had a selection of 13 indicators of MCH, and together with the PROGRESS framework, for summarizing and describing the broad field of health determinants. Data for each country was selected from national and/or international sources as to construct the chosen indicators. Data was filled in matrixes and analyzed. Results: The results obtained show differences of better health indicators for women and children of educated women and in urban areas. Discussion: Not all countries have needed data available, thus is not possible to compare amongst countries as data varies. Variation in data sources and standardization is a problem in the region; techniques of acquiring it makes it difficult to do so. Available data allowed making a first measurement of selected MCH indicators, as a proposal for measuring advances and impact of MDGs related strategies. If possible, MASCOT will try to perform s comparison in a given interval as new data for the participating countries will soon be available.


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