|Low birth weight of institutional births in Cambodia: Analysis of the Demographic and Health Surveys 2010-2014|
||Chhorvann Chhea, Por Ir, and Heng Sopheab
||PLOS ONE , 13(11): e0207021; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207021
Low birth weight (LBW), an important risk factor for early childhood mortality and morbidity, is a major public health concern in developing countries including Cambodia. This study examined the prevalence of LBW across provinces in Cambodia and changes over time, and identified the factors associated with such condition.
We used children datasets from Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey (CDHS) 2010 and 2014. There were 3,522 children and 4,991 children in both surveys. Maps illustrating provincial variation in LBW prevalence were constructed. Then, multivariate analyses were conducted to assess factors independently associated with LBW in CDHS 2014.
LBW prevalence remained stable between 2010 and 2014, at around 7.0% 95% CI: 5.8-8.1). all institutional births, but within significant variation across provinces. Factors independently associated with LBW included mother's no education compared with those whose mothers had secondary or higher education (AOR = 1.6, 95% CI: 1.0-2.6), babies born to mothers with < 4 antenatal care (ANC) visits during the pregnancy compared with those whose mothers had at least 4 ANC visits (AOR = 2.0, 95% CI: 1.5-2.8). Also, first-born babies were at greater risk of LBW compared with second-born babies (AOR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.0-2.0).
The study points to key sub-populations at greater risk and regions where LBW is particularly prevalent. Programs should target provinces where LBW prevalence remains high. Illiterate women, especially those pregnant for the first time should be the program priority. The current national program policy, which recommends that pregnant women have = 4 ANC visits during pregnancy should be further reinforced and implemented. Program design should consider ways to communicate the importance of making the recommended number of ANC visits among women with no formal education