Tuesday, November 17, 2009

age-limited access to health care

Access to health care is usually presented as a function of income, proximity to services, or cultural dictates. Oddly, it can also be a function of age: Children also need a birth certificate to be eligible for the vaccination programme available to under five year olds. Those who are ineligible are left vulnerable to preventable diseases, a common problem in Cameroon. Given the child mortality rates (i.e. deaths under 5 yrs age) in under-developed countries, and the urgency to vaccinate as a public health measure ... I'm stunned that the gov't would refuse to vaccinate anyone under 5 just because of a birth certificate. I understand the need to control when the child gets vaccinated and make sure the child doesn't get too many. Although I'm equally sure that if the parents are well-off they could get their kid the shots.

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