Role of Maternal Education and Prenatal Care on Child Health in Cameroon

Child health is considered a key indicator of economic development and quality of life in developing countries. In this context, this study attempts to empirically analyse the role of maternal education and prenatal care on child heath at birth in Cameroon using the databases of the Demographic and Health Surveys of Cameroon of 2004 and 2011 (EDSC) collected by the National Institute of Statistics of Cameroon. We follow a two-step estimation procedure. In the first step, a probit for participation and a multinomial probit for prenatal provider choice, and a negative binomial model of the number of prenatal visits by mothers were estimated. In the second step, a structural birth weight equation correcting for sample selection and prenatal healthcare provider choice biases was estimated. The results of the estimates show that the mother's level of education, the choice of different health professionals and the number of prenatal visits play an important role in the health of the child. In particular, the probability of consulting doctor increases with maternal education and consulting a doctor correlates positively with birth weight.