Financial incentives and coverage of child health interventions

Added October 4, 2020

Citation: Bassani D.G., Arora P., Wazny K., et al. Financial incentives and coverage of child health interventions: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health, 2013;13(Suppl 3).

Financial incentives may have the potential to promote increased coverage of several important child health interventions, but the quality of available evidence is low. The most noticeable effects seem to be have been achieved through programmes that directly removed user fees for access to health services. Some indication of effect was also observed for programmes that made financial incentives conditional on participation in health education and attendance at health care visits. This finding suggests that the effect measured could be less a consequence of the financial incentive and more due to the conditions which address important information barriers.

Financial incentives have been used in efforts to alleviate poverty. Such incentives may also be beneficial in promoting the uptake of health interventions for children under five years of age. This review aimed to assess the effects of different financial incentive programs on the uptake and coverage of health interventions targeting children under five years of age. Studies were assessed for quality using the CHERG criteria, and a meta-analysis was conducted. Results showed low-quality evidence on the effect of financial incentives on breastfeeding practices. However, they suggested a positive effect on receiving colostrum, early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding, and the average duration of exclusive breastfeeding. Financial incentives had no effect on immunization coverage. In general, the evidence was not totally conclusive, but it suggested that financial incentives may have the potential to promote greater coverage of various important child health interventions.


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