Child Health Status Indicators (in English)
Since the Development Plan has been used in Thailand, the health status of Thai people has been dramatically improved. It can be seen that crude death rate has gradually declined from 7.2 for 1,000 population in 1967 to 5.9 in 1996 (Table 1).In the last two decades, the life expectancy at birth has rapidly increased from 62.60 to 65.85 in males and 68.05 to 70.55 in females (Talbe 2).Although health status of people, in general, seemed to be at a satisfactory level, some problems still appear when each age group was considered. The mortality rate of children aged 0-5 years old is the highest when compared to other age groups. When causes of death among this group are considered, most of them can be reduced by some intervention policies. An attempt to improve child health status, therefore, has been made by providing a lot of programs such as improvement of nutritional status in mother and child, immunization, and improvement of sanitation and environment.
To plan, implement and evaluate all the above programs, some indicators are needed to indicate child health status. In earlier periods, mortality rate has been widely used to represent the level of child health. In this decade, however, the mortality change is quite slow in most countries including Thailand and con be said to be at a standstill. Therefore, child mortality rate was considered not to be sensitive enough to use as a child health index. More attention, therefore, should be given to these indicators in research on child health.
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