Get access

Caste and Maternal Health Care Service Use Among Rural Hindu Women in Maitha, Uttar Pradesh, India

Authors

  • Ekta Saroha MA, DrPH,

    Corresponding author
      Ekta Saroha, MA, DrPH, Research Assistant, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1665 Univ. Blvd. Ste. 320, Birmingham, AL 35294-0022. E-mail: esaroha@uab.edu
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Ekta Saroha, MA, DrPH, is a Research Assistant at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL. She assists with international health research projects that address the health care needs of women and children.

  • Maja Altarac MD, PhD, MPH,

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Maja Altarac, MD, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL.

  • Lynn M. Sibley CNM, PhD

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Lynn M. Sibley, CNM, PhD, FACNM, is Associate Clinical Professor and Academic Director of the Lillian Carter Center for International Nursing, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.


Ekta Saroha, MA, DrPH, Research Assistant, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1665 Univ. Blvd. Ste. 320, Birmingham, AL 35294-0022. E-mail: esaroha@uab.edu

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine the association between caste and maternal health care service use among rural Hindu women in India. We analyzed data from the Morbidity and Performance Assessment, a population-based cross-sectional study, for 482 Hindu women who were pregnant during January 1998 to January 1999 in Maitha, Uttar Pradesh, India. Maternal health care service use among both upper and lower caste women was very low. Upper caste women were almost three times more likely to use antenatal care (odds ratio [OR] = 2.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.40–5.30), tetanus toxoid (OR = 2.50; 95% CI, 1.48–4.21), and contraceptives (OR = 2.66; 95% CI, 1.28–5.54) and almost five times (OR = 4.77; 95% CI, 1.81–12.54) more likely to have a trained birth attendant compared to the lower caste women. Caste was a significant determinant of tetanus toxoid use and trained birth attendant even after adjusting for sociodemographic factors. Besides caste, maternal literacy was the one sociodemographic factor that was significantly associated with the use of all maternal health care services. Information dissemination and awareness generation can improve the use of subsidized maternal health care services among women of all caste groups.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary