530.1 Socio-demographic determinants on children's morbidity and mortality - a study of slums in Puducherry

Friday, August 3, 2012: 12:30 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Gopalsamy RAMATHIRTHAM , Department of Sociology, Pondicherry University, Pondicherry, India
Socio-demographic determinants on children’s morbidity and mortality

Socio economic conditions in both developed and developing countries play an enormous role on the health of children. Economic advancement has brought about many hazardous consequences to the society through industrialization and urbanization, specifically affecting the health condition of children. Industrialization has brought about environmental pollution, migration, conjunction in cities leading to slums. The social condition of society are thereafter affected by this industrialization, slums etc., leading to deteriorated sanitary condition which affects heath condition specifically the children. Keeping the above determinants, the present paper aims that to examine socio-economic condition affecting the health of children. The objectives are (i) to examine the influence of environmental factors on child health morbidity and mortality, (ii) perception and behaviour of slums dwellers on child mortality and morbidity and (iii) to make policy recommendation on strategies that can be used to reduce child morbidity and mortality. Overall child mortality declined significantly in 1990’s, but environmental hazards still kill at least 3 million children under age five every year. Environmental risk to children health which is taken in the present study includes in-door air pollution, out-door air pollution, infectious disease vectors, unsafe drinking water and exposure to hazardous chemicals.

The data used in this study was collected using in-depth interview and existing review of literature. Purposive sampling method was used in the study and 100 women were interviewed in the slums of Puducherry. The key findings of this study included the fact that poverty and lack of awareness are the major factors in child mortality and morbidity. This study therefore recommended the development and support of community level initiatives to reduce environmental threat, to increase awareness about health practice and provide education about children’s environmental health issues and to formulate porgrammes to increase sanitation facilities.