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Revista Brasileira de Saúde Materno Infantil

Print version ISSN 1519-3829


MANO, Patrícia S; CESAR, Juraci A; GONZALEZ-CHICA, David A  and  NEUMANN, Nelson A. Inequality in health care for women during gestation and delivery in a municipality in the semi-arid region of Brazil. Rev. Bras. Saude Mater. Infant. [online]. 2011, vol.11, n.4, pp.381-388. ISSN 1519-3829.

OBJECTIVES: to evaluate inequality in health care during gestation and delivery for women with children under five years of age resident in the Municipality of Caracol, in the Brazilian State of Piauí. METHODS: a household questionnaire was applied to a cross-sectional systematic sample to collect data on the demographic characteristics of mothers and children, health care during pregnancy and deliver and socio-economic status. A tercile score was created using the principal component technique. The associations between this score and variables relating to health care for women during pregnancy and childbirth were evaluated using the chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis test. RESULTS: all the 405 children covered by the study came from families with an income of less than one minimum wage per month; 65% lived in rural areas. Mothers belonging to the highest socio-economic tercile had a larger number of pre-natal consults; they had the largest number of urine tests, hemograms, cytopathological tests of the cervix and ultrasound, and their babies were delivered by a doctor with a higher frequency of caesarian sections. CONCLUSIONS: even among the poorest sectors of society there are enormous health inequalities. It is imperative that the factors determining this poverty be addressed with more aggressive social programs and priority given to caring for the poorest of the poor.

Keywords : Maternal and child health; Prenatal care; Health inequalities; Comprehensive health care.

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