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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

Country Strategy Goal Use of research results
Ghana 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
Malawi 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)
Mozambique 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
Brazil 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
Chile 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
Mexico 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
Opportunities 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: (