Wang, Wenjuan. 2013. Assessing Trends in Inequalities in Maternal and Child Health and Health Care in Cambodia: Further Analysis of the Cambodia Demographic and Health Surveys. DHS Further Analysis Reports No. 86. Calverton, Maryland, USA: ICF International.
Cambodia has achieved remarkable progress in improving maternal and child health in the last few decades. However, little is known about how this progress has been shared among different economic groups. This study uses data from three consecutive Demographic and Health Surveys
conducted in 2000, 2005, and 2010 in Cambodia to assess trends in inequalities for a range of indicators of maternal and child health and health care.
The results suggest remarkable improvement in most health and health care indicators between 2000 and 2010 in Cambodia. The increases are universal in the population, from the poorest to the wealthiest. For some indicators—under-five mortality, prevalence of anemia, use of skilled birth attendants, and use of any antenatal care—the absolute percentage point changes between 2000 and 2010 among the poorest quintile of households are at least twice that of the wealthiest quintile. However, substantial inequalities continue to exist between the wealthy and the poor, for most of the indicators studied. Infant mortality and under-five mortality are the least equitable—rates among the poorest quintile are at least three times higher than among the wealthiest.
Faster progress in use of health services among the poor than the wealthy in Cambodia would potentially result in more rapid improvement in health among the poor, and eventually could lead to the elimination of inequalities between the poor and the wealthy in maternal and child health status. Intervention programs should focus on the poor but not forget the wealthy segments of the population.