Decomposing the Socio-Economic Inequalities in Utilization of Antenatal Care in South Asian Countries: Insights from Demographic and Health Surveys

Jeetendra Yadav, Dolly Kumari, Anita Pal, Raj Kumar Verma


Even after encouraging maternal and child wellness programs at worldwide level, lower-middle income nations have not reached the goal set by the UN yet. This study attempts to fill the gap and examines the associations and inequalities between socio-economic, demographic factors and utilization of full antenatal Care in South Asian countries. It uses data from DHS of the selected countries, and Oaxaca decomposing is applied for socioeconomic inequalities in utilization of antenatal care. Findings from the multivariate analysis show that mother’s age at the time of birth, birth order and interval, mother’s education, mass media exposure and economic status are significant determinants of the utilization of antenatal care services in South Asian countries. In terms of specific outcomes with regard to inequality in ANC, the distance from the line of equity to the line of concentration curve is greatest in Pakistan followed by India and Nepal.

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