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O'Connell T.S.,Health Section | Bedford K.J.A.,Anthrologica | Bedford K.J.A.,University of Oxford | Thiede M.,Scenarium Group GmbH | McIntyre D.,University of Cape Town
International Journal for Equity in Health | Year: 2015

Introduction: A key element of the global drive to universal health coverage is ensuring access to needed health services for everyone, and to pursue this goal in an equitable way. This requires concerted efforts to reduce disparities in access through understanding and acting on barriers facing communities with the lowest utilisation levels. Financial barriers dominate the empirical literature on health service access. Unless the full range of access barriers are investigated, efforts to promote equitable access to health care are unlikely to succeed. This paper therefore focuses on exploring the nature and extent of non-financial access barriers. Methods: We draw upon two structured literature reviews on barriers to access and utilization of maternal, newborn and child health services in Ghana, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Rwanda. One review analyses access barriers identified in published literature using qualitative research methods; the other in published literature using quantitative analysis of household survey data. We then synthesised the key qualitative and quantitative findings through a conjoint iterative analysis. Results: Five dominant themes on non-financial access barriers were identified: ethnicity; religion; physical accessibility; decision-making, gender and autonomy; and knowledge, information and education. The analysis highlighted that non-financial factors pose considerable barriers to access, many of which relate to the acceptability dimension of access and are challenging to address. Another key finding is that quantitative research methods, while yielding important findings, are inadequate for understanding non-financial access barriers in sufficient detail to develop effective responses. Qualitative research is critical in filling this gap. The analysis also indicates that the nature of non-financial access barriers vary considerably, not only between countries but also between different communities within individual countries. Conclusions: To adequately understand access barriers as a basis for developing effective strategies to address them, mixed-methods approaches are required. From an equity perspective, communities with the lowest utilisation levels should be prioritised and the access barriers specific to that community identified. It is, therefore, critical to develop approaches that can be used at the district level to diagnose and act upon access barriers if we are to pursue an equitable path to universal health coverage. © 2015 O'Connell et al. Source

Young M.,Health Section | Wolfheim C.,World Health Organization | Marsh D.R.,Save the Children United States | Hammamy D.,URS Corporation
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2012

This statement presents the latest evidence for integrated community case management of childhood illness, describes the necessary program elements and support tools for effective implementation, and lays out actions that countries and partners can take to support the implementation of integrated community case management at scale. Copyright © 2012 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Source

Walker C.L.F.,Johns Hopkins University | Friberg I.K.,Johns Hopkins University | Binkin N.,Health Section | Young M.,Health Section | And 5 more authors.
PLoS Medicine | Year: 2011

Background: Diarrhea remains a leading cause of mortality among young children in low- and middle-income countries. Although the evidence for individual diarrhea prevention and treatment interventions is solid, the effect a comprehensive scale-up effort would have on diarrhea mortality has not been estimated. Methods and Findings: We use the Lives Saved Tool (LiST) to estimate the potential lives saved if two scale-up scenarios for key diarrhea interventions (oral rehydration salts [ORS], zinc, antibiotics for dysentery, rotavirus vaccine, vitamin A supplementation, basic water, sanitation, hygiene, and breastfeeding) were implemented in the 68 high child mortality countries. We also conduct a simple costing exercise to estimate cost per capita and total costs for each scale-up scenario. Under the ambitious (feasible improvement in coverage of all interventions) and universal (assumes near 100% coverage of all interventions) scale-up scenarios, we demonstrate that diarrhea mortality can be reduced by 78% and 92%, respectively. With universal coverage nearly 5 million diarrheal deaths could be averted during the 5-year scale-up period for an additional cost of US$12.5 billion invested across 68 priority countries for individual-level prevention and treatment interventions, and an additional US$84.8 billion would be required for the addition of all water and sanitation interventions. Conclusion: Using currently available interventions, we demonstrate that with improved coverage, diarrheal deaths can be drastically reduced. If delivery strategy bottlenecks can be overcome and the international community can collectively deliver on the key strategies outlined in these scenarios, we will be one step closer to achieving success for the United Nations' Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG4) by 2015. © 2011 Fischer Walker et al. Source

Binkin N.,Health Section | Chopra M.,Health Section | Simen-Kapeu A.,UNICEF Country Office
BMC Public Health | Year: 2011

Background: There are three main service delivery channels: clinical services, outreach, and family and community. To determine which delivery channels are associated with the greatest reductions in under-5 mortality rates (U5MR), we used data from sequential population-based surveys to examine the correlation between changes in coverage of clinical, outreach, and family and community services and in U5MR for 27 high-burden countries. Methods. Household survey data were abstracted from serial surveys in 27 countries. Average annual changes (AAC) between the most recent and penultimate survey were calculated for under-five mortality rates and for 22 variables in the domains of clinical, outreach, and family- and community-based services. For all 27 countries and a subset of 19 African countries, we conducted principal component analysis to reduce the variables into a few components in each domain and applied linear regression to assess the correlation between changes in the principal components and changes in under-five mortality rates after controlling for multiple potential confounding factors. Results: AAC in under 5-mortality varied from 6.6% in Nepal to -0.9% in Kenya, with six of the 19 African countries all experiencing less than a 1% decline in mortality. The strongest correlation with reductions in U5MR was observed for access to clinical services (all countries: p = 0.02, r2 = 0.58; 19 African countries p < 0.001, r 2 = 0.67). For outreach activities, AAC U5MR was significantly correlated with antenatal care and family planning services, while AAC in immunization services showed no association. In the family- and community services domain, improvements in breastfeeding were associated with significant changes in mortality in the 30 countries but not in the African subset; while in the African countries, nutritional status improvements were associated with a significant decline in mortality. Conclusions: Our findings support the importance of increasing access to clinical services, certain outreach services and breastfeeding and, in Africa, of improving nutritional status. Integrated programs that emphasize these services may lead to substantial mortality declines. © 2011 Binkin et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Stenberg K.,World Health Organization | Axelson H.,World Health Organization | Sheehan P.,Victoria University of Melbourne | Anderson I.,Independent Consultant | And 24 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2014

A new Global Investment Framework for Women's and Children's Health demonstrates how investment in women's and children's health will secure high health, social, and economic returns. We costed health systems strengthening and six investment packages for: maternal and newborn health, child health, immunisation, family planning, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. Nutrition is a cross-cutting theme. We then used simulation modelling to estimate the health and socioeconomic returns of these investments. Increasing health expenditure by just $5 per person per year up to 2035 in 74 high-burden countries could yield up to nine times that value in economic and social benefits. These returns include greater gross domestic product (GDP) growth through improved productivity, and prevention of the needless deaths of 147 million children, 32 million stillbirths, and 5 million women by 2035. These gains could be achieved by an additional investment of $30 billion per year, equivalent to a 2% increase above current spending. Source

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