Vouchers for health: A demand side output-based aid approach to reproductive health services in Kenya

C P Janisch, M Albrecht, A Wolfschuetz, F Kundu, S Klein
Global Public Health 2010, 5 (6): 578-94
Reaching the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals has been a focus for many countries and development partners. In Kenya, as in many other countries with low levels of development, access to and equity of basic quality health services is limited, especially for the very poor. Among poor populations, maternal mortality is high as access to medical care and financial means are lacking. In 2005, the Governments of Kenya and Germany in cooperation with KfW Banking Group made funds available for the Reproductive Health OBA Voucher Programme offering vouchers for Safe Motherhood, Family Planning and Gender Violence Recovery Services. This programme, herein referred to as Vouchers for Health, was launched in June of 2006 in five Kenyan districts with the aim of providing health services for safe deliveries, long-term family planning methods and victims of gender violence. The way that the programme is being implemented in Kenya demonstrates that the voucher-based approach comprises a variety of key structural elements of a national health insurance scheme: accreditation; quality assurance; reimbursement system; claims processing; integrating the private sector; client choice; provider competition; and access to and equity of services provided.

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