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Public Health Program


Background: Maternal and child undernutrition is one of the major contributors to the increasing of overall disease burden and mortality in the globe and Cambodia. Therefore, a systematic literature review was conducted to identify social determinants of maternal and child undernutrition in Cambodia.

Methods: Systematic literature search was performed through journal databases including ProQuest Central, Scopus, PubMed, Medline (Ovid), Google scholar, and World Health Organization Statistical Information System (WHOSIS). Keywords were used to search for literature in English published from 2003 to 2015. Content analysis was conducted among final selected papers.

Results: In total, 25 articles met the inclusion criteria and were selected for the review. The prevalence and social determinants of maternal and child undernutrition were two emerged themes found in this review. In 2010, 19% of non-pregnant women aged 15 - 49 years were underweight (body mass index < 18.5 kg/m2 ). This rate had not been significantly improved significantly compared to the rate in 2000 when the rate was reported at 21%. The prevalence in rural and urban areas was 20% and 17%, respectively. Among under-5 children, 45% of them were stunted, 11% were wasted, and 29% were underweight. Six social determinants of maternal and child undernutrition were identified including poverty, income inequity, food insecurity, low maternal education, infections, and gender inequity.

Conclusions: The prevalence of maternal and child undernutrition in Cambodia remains relatively high and varies across geographical areas. The intervention programs should be carefully designed to improve maternal and child undernutrition in the country taking social determinants identified in this study into consideration.

Publisher's Statement

Originally published in the International Journal Of Food And Nutritional Science, 3(2), 331-337. Licensed under CC BY 4.0. The original material can be found here.



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