Equitable approach the best way to rapidly increase overall maternal and child health coverage

The first ever global study to examine how changes in health inequality are related to overall coverage of maternal and child health interventions has shown that the countries making the most rapid progress in increasing maternal and child health coverage are those with programmes which most effectively address the needs of the poorest women and children in a population.

All interventions are likely to reach people who are better-off. However, in countries where interventions have been promoted for several years, increases in coverage are generally associated with reduced inequalities. Countries making the fastest progress in increasing health coverage were those which prioritised the poorest groups.

According to lead author Professor Cesar Victora, of Universidade Federal de Pelotas in Brazil, "[There are concerns that] the present focus on overall progress in coverage and might contribute to increasing [health] inequalities. Our analyses confirm the importance of taking equity into account when assessing overall progress in coverage at country level."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Women's group support can improve birth outcomes

Mar 07, 2010

Community support groups can reduce neonatal mortality, and lower rates of maternal depression-provided that the population coverage is wide enough and the programmes are appropriately designed. These are ...

Recommended for you

Down syndrome teens need support, health assessed

4 hours ago

Young adults with Down syndrome experience a range of physical and mental health conditions over and above those commonly reported in children with the condition—and these health problems may significantly ...

Time out for exercise

5 hours ago

University of Queensland researcher has found that restructuring our daily routine to include exercise can have unexpected effects on health.

Possible risk of folic acid overexposure

6 hours ago

A new study has shown that synthetic folic acid, the form taken in folic acid supplements we can buy over the counter, is not processed by the body in the same way as natural folates, the form found in green vegetables.

User comments