207196 Community involvement in maternal health care financing scheme: Experiences from rural Bangladesh

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:15 AM

Md. Moshiur Rahman, MA, MSc , Population Council, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Md. Mahabub Ul Anwar, MSS, MPS , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Hawaii Manoa, Honolulu, HI
Tasnima Kibria, MSc , Population Council, Dhaka, Bangladesh
The maternal mortality ratio is comparatively high in Bangladesh. Though it has declined from more than 600 in 1980 to 322 in 2004, it is still one of the highest in the world. Studies suggest that utilization of maternity care can reduce maternal mortality significantly. However, the utilization of maternity care provided by trained professionals during and after delivery is alarmingly low in Bangladesh. Several experiences reveal that community participation can improve health delivery care system and utilization of services. Financial assistance to poor women to avail pregnancy related services has been tested in an operations research project conducted by Population Council in 2008 where community participation was ensured at every stage of the project. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of community involvement in maternal health care financing scheme to improve utilization of pregnancy and delivery care from trained service providers. Findings reveal that community members played a critical role in selecting poor pregnant women, creating awareness in the community through several behavior change communication activities and organized regular monthly meetings to identify barriers and possible solutions to improve utilization of maternity care. Community members contributed significantly to strengthen health facility to provide quality maternal health care services. Along with documentation of community members' activities, in-depth interviews with women were conducted. Findings suggest that utilization of ANC, delivery and PNC from trained providers has increased significantly due to involvement of community groups.

Learning Objectives:
Describe how the community members were involved in the project activities, Discuss how the poor were selected for financial supports Describe how health facilities were strengthened, Descibe how accountability of service providers and workers was ensured to the community people for improving utilization of maternal health care services.

Keywords: Community Involvement, Financing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Co-principal investigator
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.