Video Spotlight

"'I'm a Health Worker' - Abduaraman Gidi" made by IntraHealth International.

Stephen Hodgins, Thomas Pullum, Leanne Dougherty

Developing effective context-specific strategies to ensure that a high proportion of children receive timely and appropriate care requires knowing the source from which care is sought. Although Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) collect such data in disaggregated form, they are not made available in the standard DHS and MICS reports. To effectively reach children with potentially life-threatening illness with needed treatment, it is important to understand where parents seek care. Data from 42 DHS and MICS surveys conducted since 2005 show that a majority of care in Africa is sought from the public sector; in South Asia, from the private sector; and in Southeast Asia, from a public-private mix. Variation in care-seeking patterns has implications for effective strategy, as described in more detail in 5 country examples from Asia and Africa. The analysis also suggests that it may be inappropriate to focus program efforts on community health workers to the exclusion of more widely used sources of care. The authors argue that, in order to ensure sounder program approaches, disaggregated care-seeking data should be routinely included in DHS and MICS reports. Finally, the authors call for more data on actual care provided in order to improve quality of care.

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