Financial Support among 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 in Bangladesh. 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 antenatal care from trained providers has increased from 41 percent to 89 percent. Similarly, number of women attending postnatal care services from trained providers also has increased from 10 percent to 60 percent.

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Presented in Poster Session 1