Inequalities in access to reproductive health services in Turkey

Dilek Yıldız, Hacettepe University
Ismet Koc, Hacettepe University

The GDP per capita has increased to over 4000 USD in the mid-2000s in Turkey. However, according to household budget survey conducted in 2007, the share of the richest quintile group from the total income is 8.1 times more than the poorest quintile group. This, once more, confirms that there still exists an uneven income distribution in Turkey. For a country having highly uneven income distribution like Turkey, it may be useful to look at the inequalities in access to health services. Within this context, the aim of this study is to assess the disparities in access to reproductive health services by different welfare groups in Turkey, using data from the latest Turkey Demographic and Health Survey conducted in 2008 (TDHS-2008). In the TDHS-2008, household income was not asked directly, wealth status was rather estimated by using the wealth index approach with the questions on durable goods belonging to households. Preliminary results show that, the majority of the population has chance to reach reproductive health services in Turkey. The proportion of population that reached reproductive health services such as antenatal care, assistance during delivery and delivery at health facilities increased over 90 percent in Turkey. Moreover, 81 percent of children aged 15-26 months were fully immunized. Consequently, infant mortality rate has decreased to 17 per 1000 live births from a high of 40 per 1000 live births in 1998. However, when the disparities in the household welfare is taken into consideration, the risk of dying in the infancy period in the poorest quintile is about three times higher than in the poorest quintile.

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Presented in Poster Session 2