Increasing health facility deliveries in Cambodia and its influence on child health


Cambodia, maternal health, child health, health inequality, increasing health facility deliveries in Cambodia and its influence on child well-being


Background: A growing number of women in Cambodia are seeking support from health facilities during delivery, up from 8% in 2000 to 82% in 2014. This growth may be attributed to increased national level attention to incentivize hospital births and reduce potential barriers. This paper address three related questions regarding the impact of increased utilization of health care in Cambodia. First, did increasing health facility deliveries occur most among disadvantaged women? Second, as health facility utilization increased, did the benefit of delivery location on child health outcomes weaken? Finally, did socioeconomic disparities in child outcomes decline as a result of increased health facility deliveries?

Methods: Data is from the 2010 and 2014 Cambodian Demographic and health surveys. Regression models include logistic regression to predict utilization of a health facility, linear regression to predict child nutritional status and Cox regression to measure child survival. Propensity score matching was used to account for selectivity.

Results: Analysis shows that health facility delivery is associated with better nutritional status and survival and the effectiveness of a health center delivery remains with this rapidly increasing care. However, the largest increases in delivery at a health facility did not occur among less educated, less wealthy, and rural Cambodian women, and inequalities in child health outcomes remain.

Conclusions: Cambodian women have participated in a rapid increase in health center deliveries and those health facility deliveries remain beneficial for future child outcomes. However, initiatives to increase care are not addressing inequity in access to care among disadvantaged women. Additionally, disparities in children’s health outcomes remain, suggesting that health facility births are not sufficient in reducing disparities among children of disadvantaged mothers. Moving forward, current initiatives are rapidly increasing facility deliveries and maintaining their efficacy, but further efforts need to be placed on targeting disadvantaged women and their children.

Original Publication Citation

Pierce, Hayley. (2019). “Increasing Health Facility Deliveries in Cambodia and its influence on Child Health” International Journal for Equity in Health 18(67).

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


International Journal for Equity in Health




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor