Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

Authors: Sue Horton, Carol Levin


This chapter summarizes the findings of a systematic search of the cost-effectiveness literature on reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH), which builds on previous work, by (1) focusing on the cost-effectiveness of interventions; (2) summarizing the findings on cost, building on a longer systematic search on unit cost; and (3) discussing the methods used for the search and literature analysis. Many cost-effective interventions could prove useful in addressing RMNCH conditions. Simple solutions for newborn health, treatment of febrile illness, immunization against preventable childhood diseases, and micronutrient interventions remain among the most cost-effective and affordable. Other studies explore how to provide existing interventions using new platforms to increase outreach or decrease cost per person covered, or both. Interventions provided in the community may achieve both purposes to differing extent. Task-shifting, such as training lay health workers to provide vaccines, may decrease costs, and training traditional birth attendants in skills for safer deliveries may increase coverage.



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