CAUSATIVE FACTORS OF SOCIAL INEQUALITY AND ITS IMPACT ON COMMUNITY HEALTH: A NEIGHBOURHOOD LEVEL STUDY IN MIDNAPORE MUNICIPAL AREA, WEST BENGAL, INDIA
Health is socio-demographic construct of population. In an urban area social, economic and political systems simultaneously operate within a geographically defined space in which the urban dwellers accommodate and act as key player. As such the physical and social factors virtually affect the community health as a consequence of disparity in accessing health. Health disparities in smaller towns of the developing world have drawn serious attention as they are poorly suffering from the problems of ‘urban penalty’. This paper deals with statistical clustering of neighbourhoods on the basis of quality of life, social deprivation and multiple suffering quantified as the variables derived from measurable parameters. Neighbourhoods inequality has been mapped as per the score received by each neighbourhood in respect to the above three variables. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) has also been employed for grouping the neighbourhoods in social terms. Then it has been tried to examine relationship between health attainment and social status of the neighbourhoods. The study shows that status of health does not merely depend on socio-demographic and political factors but availability of healthcare facilities, health related behaviour, health perception and awareness have played significant roles. The findings of the study may be helpful for setting planning strategies most important of which would be inclusion of local people in catering health services.