The under-five mortality rate (U5M) is reflected in socioeconomic development and health. Globally, 5.3 million children died in 2018, in which more than half of deaths were due to diseases that are preventable and treatable through simple, affordable interventions. In Cambodia, U5M is a major public health problem with a rate of 28 deaths per 1,000 live births (2018). This study aimed to examine the socio-demographic and behavioral factors associated with U5M.
This study analyzed data from the 2014 Cambodia Demographic Health Survey (CDHS). A total of 611 clusters (urban vs. rural) from 15,825 households with 17,578 women aged 15-49 years old were selected for the interview. We used weighted analysis and restricted 5,880 eligible children to the latest births aged 0-59 months. Multivariable logistic regression was performed using STATA V14.2 to assess the significant factors associated with U5Ms.
Factors associated with increased odds of U5M included children born from older mothers aged 35-49 years with adjusted odds ratios (AOR=9.63, 95% CI: 1.48-32.61), low birth weight children (AOR=4.43, 95% CI: 2.32-7.35), and mothers living in rural residences (AOR=2.76, 95% CI: 1.25-6.10). However, children born from mothers’ reports of contraceptive use were a protective factor of U5M, with AOR= 0.30 (95% CI: 0.18-0.52).
Older mothers, children with low birth weight and children born to mothers living in rural areas had a higher risk of U5M. Mothers reported using contraceptives had a reduced risk of child mortality. Therefore, Cambodia should consider these socio-demographic and behavioral factors when designing maternal and child health program interventions aimed at further reducing the U5M in Cambodia.