Regional disparities in maternal and child health indicators: Cluster analysis of districts in Bangladesh

Enayetur Raheem, Jahidur Rahman Khan, Mohammad Sorowar Hossain

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    10 Citations (Scopus)
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    Efforts to mitigate public health concerns are showing encouraging results over the time but disparities across the geographic regions still exist within countries. Inadequate researches on the regional disparities of health indicators based on representative and comparable data create challenges to develop evidence-based health policies, planning and future studies in developing countries like Bangladesh. This study examined the disparities among districts on various maternal and child health indicators in Bangladesh. Cluster analysis–an unsupervised learning technique was used based on nationally representative dataset originated from Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), 2012–13. According to our results, Bangladesh is classified into two clusters based on different health indicators with substantial variations in districts per clusters for different sets of indicators suggesting regional variation across the indicators. There is a need to differentially focus on community-level interventions aimed at increasing maternal and child health care utilization and improving the socioeconomic position of mothers, especially in disadvantaged regions. The cluster analysis approach is unique in terms of the use of health care metrics in a multivariate setup to study regional similarity and dissimilarity in the context of Bangladesh.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number0210697
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalPLoS One
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2019


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