Departmental Bulletin Paper Knowledge of free delivery policy among women who delivered at health facilities in Oudomxay Province, Lao PDR

Chankham, Tengbriacheu  ,  Yamamoto, Eiko  ,  Reyer, Joshua A.  ,  Arafat, Rahman  ,  Khonemany, Innoukham  ,  Panome, Sayamoungkhoun  ,  Hongkham, Dalavong  ,  Bounfeng, Phommalaysith  ,  Anonh, Xeuthvongsa  ,  Hamajima, Nobuyuki

79 ( 2 )  , pp.135 - 145 , 2017-05 , Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, School of Medicine
To promote the utilization of maternal health services and reduce financial barriers, the Laos government introduced its “Free Maternal Health Services Policy” in 2012. This policy provides free maternal health services for pregnant women, which includes costs related to treatment, transportation, food fees, referral and an incentive for four antenatal care appointments. This study aims to ascertain the knowledge level regarding this policy among Lao women and determine their level of satisfaction with the maternal service provision. This is a cross-sectional study conducted in Xay district, La district, and Namore district of Oudomxay province, in August 2015. Three hundred and sixty women who delivered their children at the health facilities from July 2014 to June 2015 were randomly selected from the list of mothers who lived in each area. The majority of women had heard about the free delivery policy and knew that the main health services related to delivery and pregnancy were free of charge. Logistic regression analysis showed that education level (P=0.026), length of stay (P<0.0001) and receiving transportation support (P=0.005) had significant associations with the knowledge level. The women were highly satisfied with the quality of the services, health care providers, and health facilities. However, most mothers were not satisfied with accessibility to health facilities. To increase utilization of health facilities and reduce the maternal mortality ratio in rural areas, the government needs to improve people’s education status and health care accessibility.

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