Parental Education and Child Health Care: Evidence from Nigeria

Abstract:

The magnitude of child mortality in Nigeria shows that child healthcare demand has not been significantly addressed by the policy makers. As a result of this, this study examined the impact of parental education on child health care in Nigeria. The study adopted the use of the Multinomial (MLM) estimation techniques in the attempt to determine the influence of Parental education on child Health care. Our result revealed that having some education is associated with a higher likelihood of seeking health care, though the effect is only significant for hospital care at the primary school level. The demand for health care from health post and pharmacy for education levels lower than primary education does not significantly differ from that of individuals with no education. More noticeable, however, is the significantly increasing demand for health care facilities (hospital, pharmacy and health post) at increasing education level of secondary school and post secondary school level relative to traditional care. The results at the age group level offered more interesting scenario. The education of the parent was used as a proxy for education of the 0-5 year’s age group. Parents with primary school education will demand for traditional care over health post and pharmacy. In sharp contrast, there is evidence that parents with secondary school education preferred hospital care, health post care and pharmacy care over traditional health care. This confirms the importance of education in the demand for health care of the child in Nigeria. The study therefore suggests the need for stronger commitment to child healthcare and recommends free health care service for children 0-5 year in all government hospitals. This will enable their parents who are educationally disadvantaged access to orthodox health care since their level of income may be a hindrance in accessing these facilities.