Although the details of the research are limited, a new study out of Gujarat, India shows a direct connection between socioeconomic status and medical care sought and received by pregnant women and newborns. Researchers compared information collected from urban slums and residential communities in Gujarat. All were collected from questionnaires handed out to study participants.
Families living in the urban slums and residential communities of Gujarat filled out 154 and 160 questionnaires, respectively. The questionnaires asked about antenatal care, delivery, neonatal care, newborn care, and breastfeeding practices. Results from the questionnaire were dramatic; reporting drastically lower levels of prenatal and newborn care in urban slums compared to small villages located just outside those slums. The results were reported in percentages as urban slums/villages.
- Antenatal Care: 79.9%/94.4%
- Delivery (Hospital): 82.5%/93.8%
- Neonatal Follow-Up: 27.9%/78.8%
- Newborn Care/Breastfeeding: 6.5%/85.6%
Conclusion: Prenatal and newborn care in urban slums of Gujarat are significantly reduced compared to care sought in neighboring villages.
Source: Nimbalkar AS, Shukla VV, Phatak AG, Nimbalkar SM. Newborn Care Practices and Health Seeking Behavior in Urban Slums and Villages of Anand, Gujarat. Indian Pediatr. 2012 Aug 5. pii: S097475791200157.