Socioeconomic inequality in child injury in Bangladesh - implication for developing countries

Int J Equity Health. 2009 Mar 23;8:7. doi: 10.1186/1475-9276-8-7.


Background: Child injury is an emerging public health issue in both developed and developing countries. It is the main cause of deaths and disabilities of children after infancy. The aim of this study was to investigate the socioeconomic inequality in injury related morbidity and mortality among 1-4 years children.

Materials and methods: Data used for this study derived from Bangladesh Health and Injury Survey. A multistage cluster sampling technique was conducted for this survey. In this study quintiles of socioeconomic status were calculated on the basis of assets and wealth score by using principle component analysis. The numerical measures of inequality in mortality and morbidity were assessed by the concentration index.

Results: The poorest-richest quintile ratio of mortality due to injury was 6.0 whereas this ratio was 5.6 and 5.5 for the infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases. The values of mortality concentration indices for child mortality due to infection, non-communicable diseases and injury causes were -0.40, -0.32 and -0.26 respectively. Among the morbidity concentration indices, injury showed significantly greater inequality. All the concentration indices revealed that there were significant inequalities among the groups. The logistic regression analysis indicated that poor children were 2.8 times more likelihood to suffer from injury mortality than rich children, taking into account all the other factors.

Conclusion: Despite concentration indices used in this study, the analysis reflected the family's socioeconomic position in a Bangladesh context, showing a very strong statistical association with child mortality. Due to the existing socioeconomic situation in Bangladesh, the poor children were more vulnerable to injury occurrence.