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Table 2 Main policies and programs tackling maternal and child health (MCH) inequalities, by country 2012a

From: Mapping the use of research to support strategies tackling maternal and child health inequities: evidence from six countries in Africa and Latin America




Use of research results


Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS)

Improve prevention, treatment and management of diseases to improve MCH, re-orient and relocate primary healthcare to community locations

Instrumental; based on an experiment at the Navrongo Health Research Center in the Kassena-Nankana District

National Infant and Young Child Feeding (NIYCF) program

Create an environment enabling mothers, families and caregivers to make and implement informed choices about optimal feeding practices for infants and young children

Instrumental; based on the WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding

Reproductive Health Service Policy

Develop and distribute appropriate cadres of service providers according to workload, as well geographical and access equity

Symbolic use of evidence


The National Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Policy 2009 edition

Increasing availability, accessibility, utilization and quality of skilled obstetric care during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period

No explicit expression of policy being developed based on research evidence

The Road Map for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality and Morbidity in Malawi 2007–2012

Framework for provision of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services to the population

Combining the three types of use of research, it followed a National assessment of emergency obstetric care services influenced by the African Union (2004)


National Policy on Health and Sexual and Reproductive Rights

Increase demand for family planning services and contraception; increase commitment and mobilization of resources and strengthen coordination mechanisms

Instrumental and conceptual use of research done for other purposes

Strategy for the reduction of Maternal and Perinatal Mortality

Increase the use of basic and complete essential obstetric services

Instrumental use of a study on Safe Motherhood Needs Assessment commissioned by WHO

Strategy for Family Planning and Contraception (2010–2015)

Increase availability and quality of family planning services and contraception; increase demand for family planning services and contraception

Not defined


Iniciativa Hospital Amigo da Criança (Child friendly hospital initiative) UNICEF

Implement attention to women’s health and child health with a focus on care during labour, birth, growth and development of children from birth to 24 months; Organizing Network of Care for Maternal and Child Health to assure access, hosting and responsiveness

No explicit use of research results in the formulation of national programs and policies

The programs and policies use past research as a conceptual support

Pacto pela Redução da Mortalidade Infantil Nordeste-Amazônia Legal (Infant Mortality Reduction Northeast-Amazon)

Accelerate the reduction of inequalities in the Northeast and in the Amazon, reducing child mortality (children under 1 year of age), especially the neonatal component (up to 27 days old)


Política Nacional de Atenção Integral à Saúde da Mulher (National Policy on Comprehensive Health Care for Women)

Reduce morbidity and mortality from cancer in female population; promote the healthcare of black women, the field workers, indigenous women and women in situations of detention, including the promotion of prevention and control of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS


National Strategic Health Plan

Explicit entitlements for the treatment of prioritized health problems (AUGE), changes in the regulatory scheme of the Health System separating public health activities from health provision, and enforcing the governmental regulation of private and public health insurance and provision of individual health services

Instrumental use was central in the justification and objectives

Program for Adolescents Care

Improve the demand for adolescent care services and to provide a coherent and integral healthcare

Explicit evidence comes from national experience of the specialists in charge


Equal Start in Life (APV)

Strengthens provider capacity and stimulates community participation to support prenatal care and professional delivery

Instrumental role of research in the formulation and implementation of the three programs


Cash transfers conditioned to children attending school and to mothers and children visiting primary health centres and health promotion interventions aiming to improve MCH and the nutritional status of children

Popular Health Insurance (SPS)

Voluntary affiliation health insurance program giving access to a package of medical interventions for families excluded from the social security institutions either in the informal sector of the economy or self-employed

  1. a Source: Based on MASCOT project Final Reports. Available from: (