Can incentives reduce the barriers to use of antenatal care and delivery services in Kenya?: Results of a qualitative inquiry
- Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 28, Number 1, February 2017
- pp. 153-174
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A qualitative inquiry was used to assess if incentives consisting of a hygiene kit, protein-fortified flour, and delivery kit reduced barriers to antenatal care and delivery services in Nyanza Province, Kenya. We conducted 40 interviews (baseline: five nurses, six mothers, one focus group of five mothers; follow-up: nine nurses, 19 mothers) to assess perceptions of these services. Mothers and nurses identified poor quality of care, fear of HIV diagnosis and stigma, inadequate transport, and cost of care as barriers. Nurses believed incentives encouraged women to use services; mothers described wanting good birth outcomes as their motivation. While barriers to care did not change during the study, incentives may have increased service use. These findings suggest that structural improvements—upgraded infrastructure, adequate staffing, improved treatment of women by nurses, low or no-cost services, and provision of transport—could increase satisfaction with and use of services, improving maternal and infant health.