Geographical accessibility to public health facilities and the spatial distribution of child mortality, understanding potential access to health in Guatemala

Astrid Maria Arriaza Solares, Ministry of Public Health
Andrew R. Channon, University of Southampton

Realised access to public health care services in rural Guatemala is limited. Geographic accessibility variations are expected, variations that might influence the potential to enter the health system differently. The spatial distribution of potential access is a useful methodological approach to measure horizontal equity and to identify access barriers. Guatemala public health services favours two population groups, under-five children and women at reproductive age. Focusing upon under-five child mortality rate, as a population health outcome this research aims to explore geographic accessibility and barriers for potential access to health in Guatemala. Diverse nationally representative data sources were used. To derive travel times where derived to measure geographic access and negative binomial regressions to model child mortality. We found short travel times towards the different levels of the public health infrastructure. Potential access to health is associated with increased wealth. Geographic areas with increased proportion of indigenous population and increased urbanization are likely to experience reduced potential access. Reduction of child mortality rates is associated with increase second level facilities coverage and increased number of births in this public provider. Increased public access to professional health care services across the country and in urban areas can promote potential health in Guatemala.

Keywords: Health and morbidity, Spatial analysis/regression, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

See paper.

  Presented in Session 87. Communicable Diseases in the Americas