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    Analysis of social disparities in health in the Maldives

    Project ID: EQ-009 Status: Completed

    Following on from a mission to Maldives that discussed the implications of social determinants of health, the Ministry of Health and Family requested IHP to undertake this exploratory study of social disparities in health in the Maldives. As part of the study, IHP was given access to several national datasets, including the population census, data from the Vital Registration System, and the STEPS 2004 survey in Malé. Using these data, IHP staff undertook several analyses of inequalities in health. These included an analysis of disparities in mortality, healthcare utilization, the impact of household out-of-pocket spending, NCD risk factors and morbidity, and access to medicines. The study revealed that the Maldives does comparatively well in terms of health systems equity, largely owing to its high level of public financing in health. At the same time, some significant inequities were noted, including disparities in access to medicines and pharmacies, a significant burden from having to pay for medicines in government hospitals, and the need to travel between islands to get needed care. In addition, a mixed picture for NCD risk factors and NCDs was noted, indicating that the Maldives is in transition from the patterns seen in developing countries to one seen in developed countries, where most NCDs are concentrated in the poor. The results of the study were shared with Maldivian counterparts at a national workshop in November 2009, held in Malé. In the final phase of the project, IHP staff will train Maldivian government counterparts in the methods needed to replicate the analyses in future, and to examine disparities in health using other national data.

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     Project at a glance  Project team
    Start Date: May 2009
    End Date: Nov 2009
    Themes: Health equity, Health systems
    Sponsor(s): WHO-SEARO
    Client: MOH Maldives
    IHP Staff: RP Rannan-Eliya, C Anurana, S Saleem, A Glynn-Robinson
     Location  Further information
    Region: Asia
    Country(s): Maldives
    More details: Decomposing inequalities in health outcomes in countries of the WHO South-East Asia Region
    Related IHP research:

    External links:
    Ministry of Health and Family
    WHO website on Social Determinants of Health


    Related news

    23 Nov 2009: National workshop on social disparities in the Maldives
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