Policy Interventions for Improving Child Health Outcomes in Pakistan

Monica Das Gupta, World Bank Group
Ghazala Mansuri, World Bank Group
Nistha Sinha, World Bank Group
Tara Vishwanath, World Bank Group

High child mortality in Pakistan results from poor service delivery, and constraints on women accessing services. This is because of cultural restraints on women’s mobility and on their autonomy to make and implement health care decisions for themselves and their children. Both these problems have been widespread in South Asia, but some countries such as Bangladesh have successfully mitigated them by expanding the density of fixed facilities, and also through home health visitor programs. These two approaches have also been tried in Pakistan, and here we analyze their impact. We find that both approaches increase the likelihood of immunization, but that health visitors have the larger impact. However, we find that health visitors do not significantly increase the uptake of other maternal and child health services, indicating lack of synergy between the health visitor program and the health facilities. Policies to improve these synergies would further improve child health outcomes.

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Presented in Session 147: Policy and Child Health