Differences in literacy, education level, and healthcare attendance in two different Roma subgroups from Transylvania, Romania
Background: Literacy and education levels were demonstrated to be low in the Roma population. Results after the implementation of different educational policies were not assessed for separate Roma subgroups, however, the differences between the Roma subgroups should be considered for further studies. Aims: We aimed to study literacy, education level, and healthcare utilization in two well-defined Roma subgroups, compared to the majority population, in a specific Transylvanian rural region. Material and methods: A large non-interventional, population-based, cross-sectional comparative survey was conducted in two Roma subgroups, on social characteristics in a rural region in Transylvania. Groups were age and gender-matched. Results: Illiteracy was 33.3%, 66.6%, and 4.2% in the Gabor, Lovari Roma, and general population (p < 0.001). 29.5% of the Gabors and 45.6% of the Lovari Roma did not attend any school, compared to 2.7% of the general population. Almost none of the Roma population attended school after finishing 8 classes. Healthcare service utilization was also significantly lower for the Roma subgroups, and directly related to education level. 32.7% of the Gabors, 28.3% of the Lovari Roma, and 7.3% of the general population never attended the general practitioner (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Gabor Roma had a significantly lower proportion of illiteracy and had higher school attendance than Lovari Roma, but were still illiterate in a high percentage. The Roma’s healthcare utilization was far lower than the general population’s, having been even worse in the Gabor group. Healthcare utilization was directly correlated with education level.
Copyright (c) 2023 Boglárka Varga, László Marton, Anita Balázs, Anita Lőrincz, Tímea Kovács, Orsolya Sorbán, Monica Iudita-Maria Szabó
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