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Trends in Poor-Rich Health Disparities within Developing Countries

  Enrique Delamonica and Kiersten Johnson, June 14, 2001.

The session featured presentation and discussion of two reports on trends in health inequalities within developing countries: one by Enrique Delamonica of UNICEF; the other by Kiersten Johnson of Macro International. Both reports were based on data from the same source: a set of comparable household surveys undertaken in over fifty developing countries by the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) project with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Both covered countries in which two or more DHS surveys had taken place, and sought to measure changes among the poor and in poor-rich differences during the time between the surveys. Both used the same basic analytical approach for identifying the poor and rich groups of interest. That is, the survey population was first divided into quintiles on the basis of wealth, using a household asset index based on information on such things as type of construction, source of water, availability of electricity, and household possessions. Then, changes in the lowest quintile (representing the poor) and in differences between the highest and lowest quintiles (representing poor-rich differences) were examined.

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