Economists, Government Officials, and Maternal Health Experts Gather to Discuss Financial Mechanisms for Maternal and Neonatal Health

Posted on

The US Government is currently (April 24th-25th) convening an Evidence Summit on Enhancing Provision and Use of Maternal Health Services through Financial Incentives in Washington DC. The Evidence Summit is part of a week of maternal health activities.  Economists, government officials, and maternal health specialists from the academic and development communities from around the world have gathered to take a closer look at the evidence on the impact of financial mechanisms on maternal and neonatal health outcomes.

From our colleagues at USAID:

While maternal mortality in low and middle-income countries remains high, maternal health services are greatly underutilized and often of poor quality. Financial barriers contribute to low use of maternal health services. Financial incentives have been shown to have a positive effect on the demand for health services by reducing or eliminating financial barriers to access and increasing household income, as well as on provision of essential interventions in maternity services. However, specific recommendations for use of financial incentives by governments for increasing and improving maternal health services are lacking.

According to USAID, anticipated outcomes of the Evidence Summit include:

  1. initial policy and practice recommendations for LMIC governments and donors;
  2. identification of evidence gaps to inform a unified research agenda; and
  3. creation of a community of practice linking the maternal health and economics communities to advance the evidence base together for sustainable effective use of financial incentives.

Learn more about the summit  here.

Check out the video of yesterday’s event, Learning From Success: Ministers of Health Discuss Accelerating Progress in Maternal Survivalhere.