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Is economic inequality in family planning in India associated with the private sector?

  • Abhishek Kumar (a1), Anrudh K. Jain (a2), Kumudha Aruldas (a1), Arupendra Mozumdar (a1), Ankita Shukla (a1), Rajib Acharya (a1), Faujdar Ram (a3) and Niranjan Saggurti (a1)...


This study examined the pattern of economic disparity in the modern contraceptive prevalence rate (mCPR) among women receiving contraceptives from the public and private health sectors in India, using data from all four rounds of the National Family Health Survey conducted between 1992–93 and 2015–16. The mCPR was measured for currently married women aged 15–49 years. A concentration index was calculated and a pooled binary logistic regression analysis conducted to assess economic disparity (by household wealth quintiles) in modern contraceptive use between the public and private health sectors. The analyses were stratified by rural–urban place of residence. The results indicated that mCPR had increased in India over time. However, in 2015–16 only half of women – 48% (33% from the public sector, 12% from the private sector, 3% from other sources) – were using any modern contraceptive in India. Over time, the economic disparity in modern contraceptive use reduced across both public and private health sectors. However, the extent of the disparity was greater when women obtained the services from the private sector: the value of the concentration index for mCPR was 0.429 when obtained from the private sector and 0.133 when from the public sector in 2015–16. Multivariate analysis confirmed a similar pattern of the economic disparity across public and private sectors. Economic disparity in the mCPR has reduced considerably in India. While the economic disparity in 2015–16 was minimal among those accessing contraceptives from the public sector, it continued to exist among those receiving services from the private sector. While taking appropriate steps to plan and monitor private sector services for family planning, continued and increased engagement of public providers in the family planning programme in India is required to further reduce the economic disparity among those accessing contraceptive services from the private sector.


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