Financial support for poor pregnant women in Bangladesh: an operations research finding
Moshiur Rahman, Population Council
Ubaidur Rob, Population Council
Tasnima Kibria, Population Council
The maternal mortality ratio (322) is comparatively high in Bangladesh. The utilization of maternity care provided by trained professionals during and after delivery is alarmingly low, primarily due to lack of knowledge and money. The overall objective of this operations research project was to test the feasibility and effectiveness of introducing financial support (voucher scheme) for poor rural women to improve utilization of ANC, delivery and PNC from trained service providers. A quasi-experimental pretest – posttest design was utilized. A total 436 women were interviewed before and 414 after the intervention to evaluate the impact of interventions. In-depth interviews were conducted with users and non-users of voucher. Findings suggest that institutional deliveries have increased from 2.3 percent to 18 percent. Utilization of ANC from trained providers has increased from 41 percent to 89 percent. Similarly, utilization of PNC from trained providers also has increased from 10 percent to 60 percent.