Person: Chowdhury, Sadia Afroze
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Maternal and Child Survival : Findings from Five Countries Experience in Addressing Maternal and Child Health Challenges
2014-05, Cortez, Rafael, Saadat, Seemeen, Chowdhury, Sadia, Sarker, Intissar
Considerable progress has been made towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) since 1990. Although advances in improving MDG 4 and MDG 5a (reducing child and maternal mortality, respectively) have been made, progress is some countries have been insufficient. While some countries have made substantial gains, others have not. This paper is part of a larger study that aims to address this gap in knowledge. The paper discusses the findings from qualitative case studies of five countries that are either on track to meet MDGs 4 and 5a by 2015 or have made significant progress to this end (Bolivia, China, Egypt, Malawi and Nepal). Although they have different socio-economic characteristics, all have made significant advancements due to a strong commitment to improving maternal and child health. To do this, strong political commitment, through policies backed by financial and programmatic support, was critical. In addition, focusing on the most vulnerable populations helped increase access to and use of services. Empowering women and families through education, employment, and poverty reduction programs have led to better health outcomes. These countries still face challenges, however, in terms of the evolving health system, and changes at the economic, social and political levels. Future qualitative and quantitative analyses on the returns of health investments, the political context and institutional arrangements at the country level could help deepen the understanding of the ways in which various countries, with their unique conditions, can improve MCH.
Fertility Regulation Behaviors and Their Costs : Contraception and Unintended Pregnancies in Africa and Eastern Europe & Central Asia
2007-12, Lule, Elizabeth, Singh, Susheela, Chowdhury, Sadia Afroze
The report consists of three parts: global trends in fertility, contraceptive use and unintended pregnancies; studies of two regions (Africa and Eastern Europe/Central Asia) and two countries (Nigeria and Kazakhstan) on the costs of fertility regulation behaviors and provider attitudes towards contraceptive use. Fertility levels have declined steadily over the last three decades but the pace of decline varies among regions. Countries that have achieved a high level of contraceptive use have reached a lower fertility level. A gap continues to exist between actual and desired family size, resulting in unintended pregnancies. More than one-third of the pregnancies that occur are unintended and one in five pregnancies ends in induced abortion. Almost half of all induced abortions are unsafe, and the proportion of all abortions that are unsafe have increased during the last decade. Sixty-six percent of unintended pregnancies occur among women who are not using any method of contraception. Investing in quality family planning programs is a cost-effective way to address unmet need for contraception and reduce the risks of unsafe abortion, thereby improving maternal health. If contraception were provided to the 137 million women who lack access, maternal mortality will decline by 25-35 percent.
Health and Nutrition in Urban Bangladesh: Social Determinants and Health Sector Governance
2018, Govindaraj, Ramesh, Raju, Dhushyanth, Secci, Federica, Chowdhury, Sadia
Urbanization is occurring at a rapid pace in Bangladesh, accompanied by the proliferation of slum settlements, whose residents have special health needs given the adverse social, economic, and public environmental conditions they face. Over the past 45 years, the country’s health and nutrition policies and programs have focused largely on rural health services. Consequently, equitable access of urban populations—particularly the urban poor—to quality health and nutrition services has emerged as a major development issue. However, the knowledge base on urban health and nutrition in Bangladesh remains weak. To address the knowledge gap, Health and Nutrition in Urban Bangladesh: Social Determinants and Health Sector Governance examines the health and nutrition challenges in urban Bangladesh—looking at socioeconomic determinants in general and at health sector governance in particular. Using a mixed methods approach, the study identifies critical areas such as financing, regulation, service delivery, and public environmental health, among others that require policy attention. The study also proposes specific actions within and outside the health sector to address the issues, providing guidance on their sequencing and the specific responsibilities of government agencies and other actors. This study should be useful to policy makers and practitioners working on urban health and nutrition issues in Bangladesh and in other low- and middle-income countries.
Economics and Ethics of Results-Based Financing for Family Planning : Evidence and Policy Implications
2013-12, Chowdhury, Sadia, Schmidt, Harald, Barroy, Helene, Bishai, David, Halpern, Scott
This paper was developed for World Bank task team leaders (TTLs) and teams designing results-based financing (RBF) programs in family planning (FP). It explores the rationale for introducing such incentives based on insights from classical and behavioral economics, to respond to supply- and demand-side barriers to using FP services. To help the reader understand why incentivizing FP requires specific attention in RBF, the evolution of incentives in vertical FP programs introduced from the 1950s to the early 1990s and the ethical concerns raised in these programs are described. RBF programs after the 1990s were also studied to understand the ways FP is currently incentivized. The paper also touches on the effects of the incentive programs for FP as described in the literature. Finally, it examines ethical concerns related to FP incentives that should be considered during the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs and provides a conceptual framework that can be of use for task teams in the decision making process for FP in RBF programs. It should be noted that the paper is concerned exclusively with developing a framework that can help design ethical programs to address the unmet need for FP.