Children in the south of Moldova have higher chances to die before the age of five
Chisinau, 22 July 2010 – Children from rural areas and poor families have higher chances of dying before the age of 5. This is what the new “Equity analysis of the mother and child health” report, launched today by PAS and UNICEF, says.
Despite positive trends at the national level, there are striking inequalities at the regional level, disfavoring poor children and those living in rural areas.
• A child in rural area had 1.5 times higher chances of dying before the age of 5, than the one in urban area;
Poor children in the South are over three times more likely to die before the age of five and the under-five mortality rate of those children is similar to national rates of the same year of Egypt and Morocco.
Under-nutrition is also concentrated among poor.
Although all children in the country are equally covered by the state with health insurance package, there are still barriers in accessing health services for the poor, as additional out of pocket and transportation costs have to be paid by the patient when accessing medical services.
Lack of medical services in the close proximity of some communities is another barrier to access of the poor to health services, as they cannot afford additional costs for transportation and medications not covered by the medical insurance. As a result, every third woman of reproductive age, from 15 to 49 years does not have medical insurance, and poor women are most affected. Roma women are less satisfied with their children’s health in comparison with women from the Moldovan localities: roma children’s health is unsatisfactory; they often suffer of anaemia, bronchitis, pneumonia, helmintosis, etc.
The report was prepared by the Centre for Policies and Analysis in Health with UNICEF Moldova support.
Background information: In Moldova, children, pregnant women, and mothers with seven or more children are insured by the state. Children up to five years of age receive free medication, and pregnant women receive iron and folic acid supplements. However, the number of child deaths in Moldova is higher than in European countries. Perinatal disorders, respiratory illnesses, congenital malformations, and injuries remain the principal causes of infant mortality. A large number of the deaths occurred at home (20 per cent of the total number of infant deaths) were from causes that could have been prevented if the parents had better knowledge about childcare and, most important, had requested a doctor's assistance in time.
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