The paper has discussed indicators related to maternal and Child health. In this paper, we have compared the maternal and child health between different provinces by comparing these indicators.
Appropriate care before, during and after the delivery is considered as an important aspect of health of both mother and baby. About three-fourth i.e. 73 percent of mothers reported that they consulted a skilled health provider at least once for the most recent birth. A skill care provider can be a lady health visitor, nurse or doctor. Across regions, the percentage of mother receive antenatal care from a skilled provider varies. The proportion is lowest in Baluchistan (31%) as compared to Sindh, Punjab (78% each) and KPK (61%).
Percentage of mother receive antenatal care from a skilled provider
Antenatal care is believed to be an important part of mother’s health because it can lead to improve mother nutrition and decrease low birth weight. Besides this, women in Pakistan who receive antenatal care coverage at least four times are 36.6%. Women is Sindh province (44.4%) are more than three times as likely as women in Baluchistan province (12.2%) to receive coverage of antenatal care at least four times during the pregnancy. In Punjab, 38.6 percent women receive coverage of antenatal care at least four times. In KPK, the proportion is 24%, but the proportion is quite lower than national estimation of women receiving coverage of antenatal care at least four times.
Proper medical care and hygienic conditions at the time of delivery can decrease the risk of infections and complications that may lead to serious illness or death of the mother or the new born baby. More than half of births (52%) occur in Pakistan are assisted by skilled provider. The proportion of births assisted by healthcare providers is highest in Sindh, Punjab and KPK i.e. 61%, 53% and 48% respectively.
Similarly, facility based births are also least common in Baluchistan (16%) among all provinces of Pakistan. Facilities based births are more common in Sindh (59%), Punjab (48%) and KPK (41%). It means that Baluchistan do not have adequate resources to skilled birth delivery.
Postnatal check-up and care play a significant role in preventing the complications among mothers after the birth such as postpartum depression, anaemia and other issues. In Pakistan 60.3 per 100 women receives postnatal care within 2 days of delivery. However, there is a significant difference between provinces. It is lowest among women in Baluchistan (37.2) and KPK (37.7). On the other hand, Sindh and Punjab have highest proportion of women receive postnatal care i.e. 66.3% and 66% respectively.
Most of women in Pakistan are unaware about the modern methods of family planning and their significance on their health. That’s why the demand of modern family planning methods among women in Pakistan is just 47%. Women of Punjab and Sindh have the highest demands of family planning methods that are 49.7% and 48.6% respectively. On the other hand, women in Baluchistan and KPK have the lowest demand of modern methods of family planning
The PDHS 2012-2013 also took measurements of height and weight of women age 15 to 49 years. It showed that 40% of women in Pakistan were obese. KPK and Punjab has a proportion of 50% and 43% of obese women respectively, which is higher than national estimation. On the other hand, Baluchistan (35%) and Sindh (29%) has percentage of obese women that is less than the national estimation.
Information on child and infant mortality are considered important in recognizing segments of the country that are at high risk.
Child mortality rates are basic indicators of assessing the quality of life as well as health of children less than five years. In Pakistan, rate of infant is 74 per 1000 live births. Rate of Infant mortality differs by region. The rate of infant mortality in Baluchistan is 97 per 1000 live births in contrast to KPK which has lowest among all provinces (58/1000 live births). Sindh and Punjab has infant mortality rate of 74 and 88/1000 live births respectively.
Comparison of mortality rate of under five children reported in PDHS 2012-2013 shows a similar trend among different provinces. Baluchistan has highest mortality rate (111/1000 live births) of under five year children followed by Punjab (105/1000 live births) and Sindh (97/1000 live births). The rate is lowest in KPK which is almost half as Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan (50/1000 live births).
Healthcare Services for Children
Immunization against communicable diseases is important strategies to promote health of children by building strong immunity against infections such as polio, pneumonia and other infectious diseases. PDHS 2012-2013 shows that overall, just over a half of children of age 12 to 23 months are fully vaccinated. By looking at vaccination coverage for specific provinces we come to know that significant differences are there between different provinces. Proportion of fully vaccinated children is highest in Punjab (65.6%) and lowest in Baluchistan (16.4%). It is considerably lower for children in Sindh (29.7%) as well when compared with national estimation.
It is also noted that one in every five children (21%) in Baluchistan does not receive any vaccination at all. While in Punjab only 1.5% of children haven’t received any vaccination which is more than five times better than Sindh (8.5%). The proportion of non-vaccinated children in KPK is 12% which is still higher than national estimation (5.4%).
Diarrhoea and respiratory diseases are among the major causes of death of children in Pakistan. Early diagnosis and treatment are considered important in reducing these diseases and thus important in decreasing deaths of children. PDHS data 2013 shows that In Pakistan half of children with certain illness were taken to healthcare services or professional. Children in Baluchistan are less likely to receive medical treatment for disease as compared to other provinces. There is no big difference of proportion between Sindh (56.2), Punjab (52.3%) and KPK (55.9%).
Percentage of Children receive medical treatment for disease
According to the PDHS 2012-2013, 30% of children less than 5 years in Pakistan are underweight. One out of three children in Baluchistan are underweight (35%). Proportion of underweight children in Sindh, Punjab and KPK is almost same i.e. 29%, 26% and 26% respectively. Although, the proportion in these provinces is lower than national estimation, but quite higher when compared with MDG goals (millennium developmental goals).