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Measuring the Effects of Prenatal Care on Child Birth Weight in Cameroon
Authors: Medjo Obia Liliane Odette
Source: Health Policy and Planning, DOI:
Topic(s): Antenatal care
Birth weight
Country: Africa
Published: SEP 2021
Abstract: Low birth weight continues to be a significant public health problem worldwide with a range of short and long-term consequences. However, the analysis of its determinants remains a less addressed issue in sub-Saharan African countries despite the poor child health indicators observed there. The objective of this study is to examine the effects of prenatal care on child birth weight in Cameroon, using data from the fifth Demographic and Health Survey (DHSC, 2018). For this purpose, we use a system of simultaneous equations that takes into account potential endogeneity and sample selection bias. Two measures of prenatal care are used in this study, namely, adequacy and quality. Estimation of the birth weight production function using the instrumental variable two stage least square approach, reveals that adequate prenatal care increases the child's birth weight by 882.84 grams. Also an increase in the quality of prenatal care by one unit improves the child's birth weight by 147.79 grams. Thus, despite the fact that prenatal care in Cameroon suffers from some shortcomings as regards to the standards recommended by the World Health Organization, it remains a key factor for the improvement of neonatal health outcomes in this country.