Technical Notes

How to Change Behavior to Improve Maternal and Neonatal Health in Rural Areas of Latin America

AUTHOR(s): García Prado, Ariadna
PUBLISHED: December 2016
RELATED TOPICS: Poverty Reduction and Labor
DOWNLOAD FILE IN: English Spanish


The objective of this paper is to review the most relevant, recent and rigorous literature on strategies to promote changes in demand for maternal and neonatal health services in rural areas of Latin America and to identify the strategies with most impact and lowest cost. The evidence shows that: i) covering direct expenses increases the use of prenatal care and institutional delivery and appears to be costeffective; ii) community interventions have positive impacts on indicators related to social norms (contraceptive use and institutional delivery); iii) monetary incentives have moderate impacts on use of prenatal care but lead to very few changes in institutional delivery or contraceptive use, while non-monetary incentives do increase institutional delivery at a much lower cost; iv) sending reminders to women could increase the use of prenatal and postpartum visits in a cost-effective way; and v) postpartum and puerperium visits need to be promoted.

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