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Objective: To assess the impact of economic and gender factors on malnutrition among children below 5 years age by making a comparative study between India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka
Design and setting: The study uses data and information on economic and gender status parameters taken from the secondary sources for three South Asian Countries between the years 2000 to 2018. The study uses ANOVA, Post Hoc test and Fixed Effects Panel Regression analysis to arrive at the conclusions.
Results: Comparative analysis between the three countries shows that the extent of malnutrition among children is lowest in Sri Lanka and highest in India. The study finds that economic factors such as domestic government’s expenditure of healthcare as percentage of total health expenditure and gender factors measured in terms of female labour force participation, and school enrolment of girls at secondary level significantly impact the level of malnutrition among children.
Conclusion: Malnutrition among children is a complex challenge which cannot be solved by emphasizing on only economic growth. Policies emphasising on gender parity and empowerment integrated in healthcare policies will positively impact nutritional level of children.
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