Credit: DFATD-MAECD/Jean-François Leblanc

Improving access to quality maternal and newborn health services

The lack of progress in key reproductive and maternal health indicators in Mozambique illustrates that traditional approaches to improving maternal, newborn and child health have not produced the expected results. There is a significant body of evidence to show that results-based financing can improve health outcomes by increasing access to better quality and more equitable services, and promoting greater efficiency in even the poorest countries.

Options led the design of a pilot programme aimed at increasing access to, and use of quality maternal and newborn health services for poor women and children in rural areas. We focused on the barriers that poor rural women face in delivering in a facility, and designing appropriate interventions to overcome these barriers. Our design proposed using a demand-side financing intervention to tackle financial barriers to accessing services, providing vouchers to access transport to facilities while also providing complementary support to facilities. The three intervention themes were:

  • A community engagement strategy to address barriers to making decisions to seek care, reviewing women’s experiences of delivery at the health facility in order to improve the quality of care delivered at the facility.
  • A transport strategy to address barriers to reaching care, including a subsidy for the cost of transport to and from the health facility for delivery.
  • A quality of care strategy to address barriers to receiving good quality care, particularly in the context of rising demand for maternal and neonatal health services.


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