Faculty of Public Health - Andalas University - OCS, 13th IEA SEA Meeting and ICPH - SDev

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Assessment of extent of male involvement in reproductive and child health in rural northern India: A community based study
Sangeeta Kansal, Sudhir Kumar Jha

Last modified: 2018-08-07


Introduction: The issue of male involvement in reproductive & child health is enigmatic. It has traditionally been held that men’s role and voices are decisive in family building process and reproductive health outcomes of both males and females. At the same time, against the backdrop of recent and ongoing experience, men have also been characterized as the neglected half in the pertinent programs, playing a tangential role relative to women. The present study was conducted to assess the extent and determinants of male involvement in key areas of reproductive and child health (RCH).

Materials & Methods: This study was carried out in rural areas of eastern Uttar Pradesh, a densely populated region in northern India. Married males having youngest child aged 0-24 months were included. A composite indicator on overall male involvement was used based on a minimum and maximum male involvement score ranging from 0 to 20.

Results: Majority (90 %) of the males had very poor/poor involvement i.e., scored less than 10 points on composite indicator scale. Education and occupation of males, education of wife, monthly family income and socio-economic status were found to be significant determinants.

Conclusion: Our study has shown the overall  poor involvement of males in key areas of RCH. There is a significant need to scale up men’s participation in Reproductive and child health and to provide them with the sufficient information to help them make decisions, and support their partner’s decisions, concerning their family’s health. In addition, special attention has to be paid to the obstacles they face and complex approaches to overcome them.

Key words: Male involvement, Composite indicator scale, RCH