Improving Access to Life Saving Maternal Health Services: The Effects of Removing User Fees for Caesareans in Mali
Mali has a high maternal mortality ratio. At the same time, access to caesareans and other life saving obstetric care is extremely low. Health Systems 20/20 and the Abt Associates ATN Plus bilateral project worked with the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Mali to examine the impact of the free caesarean policy introduced by the government in 2005. Using a combination of research methods, the study examines the effects of the policy on access to caesareans, assesses equity of utilization across socioeconomic groups, and identifies important remaining access barriers. Findings from the study will be used to define future interventions or programmatic changes to reduce maternal mortality.
The study was presented at an MOH conference on user fee exemption policies in Bamako, Mali on March 31-April 1, 2011.