Fem Health

FEMHealth: assessing the impact of fee exemption on maternal health in West Africa and Morocco: new tools, new knowledge (2011-2013)

FEMHealth (Fee Exemption for Maternal Health care) is a consortium of 8 partner research institutions funded through the EU. Focal countries for this work were Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali, and Morocco, selected on the basis of having recently introduced national policies to reduce financial barriers for delivery or emergency obstetric care.

The evidence base regarding the impact of this policy had not been well developed, in part because of evaluation designs that were not able to capture all the necessary information for policy-makers to make informed decisions. However, FEMHealth aimed to tackle this issue and LSHTM focused on the quality of care, health outcomes, and health policy.

Project objectives:

-Develop new methodological approaches for the evaluation of complex interventions in low income countries;

-Improve the health of mothers and their newborns by performing evaluations of the impact, cost and effectiveness of the removal of user fees for delivery care on maternal and neonatal health outcomes and service quality;

-Improve the communication of evidence to policy-makers and other stakeholders.

Gynaecology and Obstetrics Ward, Burkina Faso

Key Outputs:

-A multi-disciplinary understanding of the positive or negative impact of the policies on health outcomes for mothers and babies, quality of care, and access to emergency care in each of the countries;

-Cross-country learning and recommendations generated on how to improve policies to remove user fees;

-Methodological advancements in relation to health policy and financing tool, tools for mapping the effects of polices on the local health system, and the use of real case studies and near miss events;

-A growing regional community of practice, involving major stakeholders.

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