Evidence on how to scale up demand-side maternal and newborn health interventions in Zambia

In order to translate global commitments of ensuring access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services for every woman and every girl into practical, affordable and sustainable interventions, policy makers and implementers need to be able to draw on solid evidence of what does and does not work. The More Mobilising Access to Maternal Health Services… Read more


Urban Health

Dr Helen Elsey is from the Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, University of Leeds. In this HEART Talks she talks through the urban health HEART reading packs that she has put together with Dr Siddharth Agarwal from the Urban Health Resource Centre in India. The three reading packs are: A) Data and evidence,… Read more


Health responses to humanitarian crises

This HEART Talks is a presentation from a humanitarian health seminar held at DFID 29th July 2016. In the video below DFID health adviser Chris Lewis talks about two of the HEART reading packs. The first is Health Responses to Humanitarian Crises and the second is Humanitarian Overview From Principles to Coordination. Humanitarian crises are important as they contribute… Read more


Fiscal space analysis in Sierra Leone: the free health care initiative and universal health coverage

This brief highlights how Sierra Leone can improve the sustainability of the free health care initiative (FHCI) financing, lower household out-of-pocket (OOP) payments on health care, and decrease its dependence on donors. A secondary analysis provides insights into how Sierra Leone could work towards achieving its longer-term health goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). If… Read more


Monitoring and evaluation in Sierra Leone’s health sector

As part of the review of Sierra Leone’s Free Health Care Initiative (FHCI), researchers assessed its monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system, strengths and weaknesses, and the changes that took place as a result of the FHCI. This brief notes that a strong M&E system is crucial to help improve performance and achieve results. Several key… Read more


The free health care initiative (FHCI) in Sierra Leone: real gains for mothers and young children

In 2010, the Free Health Care Initiative (FHCI) abolished health user fees for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five. This was a response to very high mortality and morbidity levels among mothers and children and reports that financial costs were a major barrier to health service uptake and use by these groups. This… Read more


Sierra Leone’s free health care initiative: financing implications

In 2010, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) took steps towards establishing the Free Health Care Initiative (FHCI). At its core, this was the removal of user fees (on drugs and consultations) for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five. This brief is based on an independent review of FHCI completed in 2016, which looked… Read more


Quality of maternal and newborn services – a learning resource for thinking and action

This freely accessible online learning resource produced by HEART provides an overview of the key issues in relation to quality of services (QoS) for maternal and newborn health (MNH), and signposts key resources for further reading. Originally designed for the cadre of Health Advisers at DFID, it has been adapted to suit a broad range of… Read more


Quality of care in maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) and sexual and reproductive health (SRH)

This helpdesk query looks at interventions to improve the quality of care in maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) and sexual and reproductive health (SRH). It includes evidence assessing which interventions are likely to have the best impact on service outputs and health outcomes, with an emphasis on cost effectiveness. The MNCH focus is on… Read more


Retention of female volunteer community health workers in Dhaka urban slums: a prospective cohort study

Volunteer community health workers (CHWs) are a key approach to improving community-based maternal and child health services in developing countries. BRAC, a large Bangladeshi non-governmental organisation, has employed female volunteer CHWs in its community-based health programs since 1977, recently including its Manoshi project, a community-based maternal and child health intervention in the urban slums of… Read more


Community mobilization in Mumbai slums to improve perinatal care and outcomes: a cluster randomized controlled trial

Improving maternal and newborn health in low-income settings requires both health service and community action. Previous community initiatives have been predominantly rural, but India is urbanising. While working to improve health service quality, we tested an intervention in which urban slum-dweller women’s groups worked to improve local perinatal health. Facilitating urban community groups was feasible, and… Read more


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