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Title: Child health in an urban context : risk-factors in a squatter settlement of Rio de Janeiro
Author: Reichenheim, Michael Eduardo
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1988
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Notes: ■ A population survey focusing on mothers and children under the age of five was undertaken in Rio de Janeiro's largest squatter settlement - the favela of Rocinha. The aims of the study were:1. To describe the socio-economic, demographic and health patterns of a well established, inner city squatter settlement of a Brazilian metropolis.2. To verify if and to what extent there are intra-community health differentials.3. To identify the risk factors for child health in a squatter settlement context. Special emphasis was given to: 2.1. The migration characteristics of the mother and whether these are direct or indirect risk factors to child health. 2.2. Whether socio-economic indicators were risk factors for child health in conjunction with or as an alternative to migration status. A two stage random sample was carried out. First, ten out of thirty areas comprising Rocinha were selected and screened for mothers and children. ■ Subsequently, a sub-sample of mothers and children were randomly selected for in-depth evaluation. The final sample size was 620 children. A partly structured and partly unstructured questionnaire was applied to the mothers, and the children were weighed and measured. In addition, unstructured information was also collected from local leaders and health workers from the area. The tested study model comprises a set of theoretically independent variables and a set of child health outcome indicators. ■ In the first set four areas were focused:1) Socio-economic characteristics such as incomes, household possessions, environmental conditions, and occupations;2) Migration characteristics of the mother such as length of time living in Rocinha, length of experience in Rio de Janeiro, and rural/urban birth;3) Other maternal characteristics such as age, education, marital status, parity, history of child loss in the past through death, and mental health status;4) Children characteristics such as age, gender, birthweights, breastfeeding history, birth intervals, and degree of weekly separation from mother. Regarding the child health indicators, six areas were evaluated:1) Acute and chronic illnesses;2) Nutritional status;3) Accidents;4) Skin disorders;5) Vaccination status and6) Pattern of utilisation of health facilities. Although different risk factors were identified in relation to the different outcome indicators a major pattern stood out. ■ None of the studied migration variables showed any association with child health, suggesting that migration status is a poor risk indicator. Conversely, with the exception of accidents, child ill-health or growth deficit were prominently associated with unsatisfactory environmental conditions and low incomes. Besides indicating their relevance as risk factors, these findings demonstrated the presence of an explicit intra-community stratification which is also expressed in terms of health differentials.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available