I feel it is a more complex situation than mere association of people’s belief systems with the health seeking behavior. Access to care plays a key role and so does health literacy.
I have worked in different settings including Muslim majority regions of Kashmir as well as KSA. I noticed high health seeking behavior among poorest of the poor not related to their religious affiliation or language. Often faith makes folks more resilient and keeps that hope of recovery alive. I understand even one life lost due to not seeking care or denial of care for a sick child is one too many. Sadly denial of quality care happens due to stereotypes too! We have examples of high maternal mortality in the developed world where good quality care is often dependent on race and economics. Often minorities in some parts of the world receive poor quality of care just because of who they are.
As a scientific community we must try to ensure respect for all human life and encourage improved access for all.
Dr. Shabina Hussain, MBBS, DPH, MPH
Mount Lake Terrace, WA
HIFA profile: Shabina Hussain is an independent global health consultant and is based in the USA. Professional interests: Maternal & Child Health, Family Planning, Reproductive & Sexual Health, women's rights, survival of girl child, poverty eradication, Prevention of Infectious diseases. firstname.lastname@example.org