Background: Access to and utilisation of quality maternal and child healthcare services is generally recognized as the best way to reduce maternal and child mortality. Objectives: We evaluated whether the introduction of a voluntary family health insurance programme, combined with quality improvement of healthcare facilities [The Community Health Plan (TCHP)], and the introduction of free access to delivery services in all public facilities [Free Maternity Services programme (FMS)] increased antenatal care utilisation and use of facility deliveries among pregnant women in rural Kenya. Methods: TCHP was introduced in 2011, whilst the FMS programme was launched in 2013. To measure the impact of TCHP, percentage points (PP) changes in antenatal care utilisation and facility deliveries from the pre-TCHP to the post-TCHP period between the TCHP programme area and a control area were compared in multivariable difference-in-differences analysis. To measure the impact of the FMS programme, PP changes in antenatal care utilisation and facility deliveries from the pre-FMS to the post-FMS period in the pooled TCHP programme and control areas was assessed in multivariable logistic regression analysis. Data was collected through household surveys in 2011 and 2104. Households (n=549) were randomly selected from the member lists of 2 dairy companies, and all full-term pregnancies in the 3.5 years preceding the baseline and follow-up survey among women aged 15-49 at the time of pregnancy were eligible for this study (n=295). Results: Because only 4.1% of eligible women were insured through TCHP during pregnancy, any increase in utilisation attributable to the TCHP programme could only have come about as a result of the quality improvements in TCHP facilities. Antenatal care utilisation significantly increased after TCHP was introduced (14.4 PP; 95% CI: 4.5–24.3; P=0.004), whereas no effect was observed of the programme on facility deliveries (8.8 PP; 95% CI: -14.1 to +31.7; P=0.450). Facility deliveries significantly increased after the introduction of the FMS programme (27.9 PP; 95% CI: 11.8–44.1; P=0.001), but antenatal care utilisation did not change significantly (4.0 PP; 95% CI: -0.6 to +8.5; P=0.088). Conclusion: Access to the FMS programme increased facility deliveries substantially and may contribute to improved maternal and new-born health and survival if the quality of delivery services is sustained or further improved. Despite low up-take, TCHP had a positive effect on antenatal care utilisation among uninsured women by improving the quality of existing healthcare facilities. An alignment of the two programmes could potentially lead to optimal results. Funding: The study was funded by the Health Insurance Fund (http://www.hifund.org/), through a grant from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||African health sciences|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2019|
- A dairy farmer population-based study
- Free Maternity Services programme
- Maternal and child healthcare utilisation rural