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Improving access to maternity services: an overview of cash transfer and voucher schemes in South Asia

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Jehan, Kate, Sidney, Kristi, Smith, Helen ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6252-3793 and de Costa, Ayesha (2012) 'Improving access to maternity services: an overview of cash transfer and voucher schemes in South Asia'. Reproductive Health Matters, Vol 20, Issue 39, pp. 142-154.

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Abstract

In Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, policy focused on improving access to maternity services has led to measures to reduce cost barriers impeding women's access to care. Specifically, these include cash transfer or voucher schemes designed to stimulate demand for services, including antenatal, delivery and post-partum care. In spite of their popularity, however, little is known about the impact or effectiveness of these schemes. This paper provides an overview of five major interventions: the Aama (Mothers') Programme (cash transfer element) in Nepal; the Janani Suraksha Yojana (Safe Motherhood Scheme) in India; the Chiranjeevi Yojana (Scheme for Long Life) in India; the Maternal Health Voucher Scheme in Bangladesh and the Sehat (Health) Voucher Scheme in Pakistan. It reviews the aims, rationale, implementation challenges, known outcomes, potential and limitations of each scheme based on current available data. Increased use of maternal health services has been reported since the schemes began, though evidence of improvements in maternal health outcomes has not been established due to a lack of controlled studies. Areas for improvement in these schemes, identified in this review, include the need for more efficient operational management, clear guidelines, financial transparency, plans for sustainability, evidence of equity and, above all, proven impact on quality of care and maternal mortality and morbidity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Maternal health care demand-side financing health care financing voucher cash transfer South Asia
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > W 74 Medical economics. Health care costs
WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 310 Maternal welfare
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 525 General works
WQ Obstetrics > WQ 100 General works
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > International Health Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/S0968-8080(12)39609-2
Depositing User: q Moody
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2012 16:23
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:04
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/2881

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