Demand for Health Care Services and Child Health Status in Nigeria- A Control Function Approach
Nigeria has experienced significant increase in economic growth in the last decade yet the health indicators are very poor particularly in the rural sector where poverty incidence is high. The study attempts to provide insights into the determinants of health status and the demand for health care in Nigeria. Using the 2008 DHS data, the effect of the demand for health care service as a complement to other unobservable factors that affect health status of children is explored based on the complementary hypothesis. The data was analyzed using different estimation procedures and the result of the control function is explained. The demand for immunization for children is significant in explaining child health. This expectedly induces the use of other health enhancing inputs and behaviours. In poor families, immunization was not significant. Also, older children and those residing in the rural areas suffer more from poor health but educated mothers have healthier children. Policy recommendation is that the immunization coverage area be increased. In addition, improving education among women will enhance the demand for health inputs and improve the health of their children particularly for the poor and those residing in the rural areas
Key words: complementarity, control function, immunization, Nigeria, underweight.
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