Health Facility Delivery Incentive Program
When a mother chooses to deliver her baby outside of health facilities, she puts her own life and that of her newborn in danger, particularly if complications arise. In rural Ghana, health facilities can be difficult to reach and without proper transportation, pregnant women are forced to deliver at home. Even when they reach the facilities, they might find under equipped healthcare workers including an absence of emotional support from birth attendants. There is also a lack of faith in birth attendants resulting in mothers accessing health facilities as a last resort.
We aim to reduce such preventable deaths through our Health Facility Delivery Incentive Program (HFDIP) in Ampenkrom community, Ghana. In collaboration with pediatric residents from the University of California Los Angeles, GHEI staff and Community Health Workers designed this program with the intention of increasing the proportion of deliveries performed in health facilities by reducing the financial barriers preventing women from delivering their babies in clinics and hospitals.
Pregnant women who are in their sixth to ninth month of pregnancy attend distribution days hosted by GHEI’s health team to answer questions about their past and intended delivery locations and receive pre-delivery packages of items commonly needed at health facilities during childbirth. After delivery, women return to GHEI to collect a post-delivery incentive package and answer questions about their delivery location and experience.
The pre-delivery package includes 2 antiseptics, 2 bottles of bleach and 4 cakes of soap.
The post-delivery package includes 2 baby blankets and 4 baby diapers.
In 2019, 89% of HFDIP participants reported that they had delivered their baby at a medical facility. All of them expressed that the pre-delivery packages were very important as the health workers asked them to provide the commonly needed items during childbirth. Participants stated that the incentives helped reduce financial stress and helped them to opt for safer childbirth locations such as clinics and hospitals.
HFDIP is a proven intervention that focuses on raising women’s awareness on the benefits of delivering in a health facility, empowers them by increasing their decision making power and reduces common financial barriers.
Join us in this initiative and together we can significantly reduce maternal mortality and ensure a safe delivery process for pregnant women in rural Ghana.