Working Paper
Beyond access to basic services

Perspectives on the social determinants of health in Mozambique

The social determinants of health have not been studied extensively in low-income contexts, where most studies focus on access to medical care.

We undertake a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of the social determinants of health in Mozambique for the 2002–14 period, covering 258,431 observations. The results consistently show that neither better access to health care nor material conditions are related to better health outcomes. Rather, we find that macro factors, proxied by place of residence, are the predominant predictor of health inequalities.

A policy implication is that a narrow focus of health policy on selected services is not sufficient to address the current health equity gap.