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Demand for prenatal health care in South America

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This study extends existing research on prenatal care demand to the South American countries of Bolivia, Columbia and Peru, using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys and employing two measures of prenatal care: whether prenatal care was ever initiated and a measure of prenatal care adequacy that includes information on month of initiation and number of visits. The results indicate that prenatal care demand in South America is significantly affected by a woman's age, previous pregnancy experience, education and marital status. Furthermore, household wealth and the degree of wantedness of the child significantly influence prenatal care demand. Since prenatal care use has been shown to improve infant and maternal health, there may be substantial benefits from economic and public health policies that target these determinants of prenatal care in the countries under study.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Economics, University of North Texas, Denton 75229, US

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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