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Reducing Financial Barriers to Reproductive Health Care: Experiences with Free Care and Health Insurance

High-level support and smart program design are crucial to launching health financing strategies, but success hinges on developing effective implementation and monitoring, according to a MLI issue brief on reducing financial barriers to reproductive health released this month. “While design of any financing strategy is important, it is often problems in implementation that derail effectiveness,” writes author Allison Gamble Kelley, a health economist and MLI Country Lead for Mali. Kelley outlines the need for continuous monitoring and adaptation of new programs to ensure that they meet their potential. The 13-page issue brief, “Reducing Financial Barriers to Reproductive Health Care: Experiences with Free Care and Health Insurance,” explores tensions between financing arrangements that bring rapid gains in targeted areas such as maternity care, and those aimed at sustainable progress for entire health systems. Kelley focuses her analysis on the five countries in which MLI is working to enhance health ministry leadership: Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Nepal. The report also reviews experiences from Ghana and Rwanda. Country spotlights in English and in French are also available.

The Role of Individual and Community Normative Factors

Unlike other African countries, Mali’s fertility rate remains at a relatively high rate of 6.8 births per woman. Little research exists on the role that community norms play in use of family planning, particularly in low prevalence countries. Data on 7,671 women from the 2001 Mali Demographic and Health Survey were analyzed to assess the effects of individual and community factors on the adoption of modern contraceptive methods.

  • MLI Voices

    Jun 22 2009 - 4:25pm

    Sierra Leone

    Even though I have worked in Sierra Leone in the past, the role of MLI Country Lead has given me the opportunity to build upon these previous experiences and to work closely with members of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), to support the implementation of health policies and reforms that they have prioritized.

     

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