Assessing the Cost-Effectiveness of Free Maternal Care in Kenya

Project Period

May 2015 - May 2017

Project Partners

  • Amsterdam Institute for International Development
  • Health Policy Project Kenya
  • PharmAccess Foundation
  • Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development

Kenya’s maternal mortality rate (MMR) remained high over the last two decades, despite efforts to achieve a 75% drop by 2015 as part of attempts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The MMR is even higher among urban and rural poor, recognized vulnerable groups. User fees at primary care facilities and for maternal healthcare constitute a barrier to access healthcare, particularly for vulnerable groups.

Waving the user fees at national level is one form of social protection to improve the access to healthcare. Another form of social protection is a social health insurance scheme. The objective of this project is to compare the cost-effectiveness of those two types of social protection and to determine the transmission channel from the short-term impact of the two approaches to medium-term inclusive growth. We do this using two programs each representing one of the two approaches and highly comparable in terms of time and space. We will measure the cost of both programs, as well as the impact of both programs in terms of targeting, quality of care, utilization and out-of-pocket expenditures.

The research will lead to informed policy advice on the most cost-effective strategies to target social protection programs, deliver quality care, increase utilization and reduce out-of-pocket expenditures, which ultimately should lead to inclusive growth.

Project Funders

  • Project Funder



Executive Director, APHRC

Catherine Kyobutungi

Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi is the Executive Director of the African…

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Research Scientist

Estelle Monique Sidze

Dr. Estelle Sidze is a maternal and child health specialist…

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