Yot Teerawattananon,1 Sripen Tantivess,1 Pitsaphun Werayingyong,1
Pritaporn Kingkaew,1 Nilar Tin,2 San San Aye,3 Phone Myint3


Introduction: In 2010, with financial support from the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization’s Health System Strengthening programme, the Government of Myanmar established a scheme to improve coverage of maternal and child health (MCH) services. Employing qualitative approaches, this article reviews the processes through which this scheme was devised, focusing on evidence generation and the use of such evidence to inform policy formulation. To address the problem of high mortality rates among mothers and infants, collaborative research was conducted by Myanmar’s Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization, and a research arm of Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health, between March 2010 and September 2011. In the early phase of this study, key barriers to governmentprovided MCH services were identified. Based on a comprehensive review of the literature, the introduction of a voucher scheme was raised for consideration by ministry of health decision-makers and respective stakeholders. Despite the successful experience of this financing strategy in low-income countries, a series of surveys, an economic evaluation, and focus group discussions were carried out to assess the feasibility and potential health and economic implications of this scheme in the Myanmar context. The research findings were then used to guide the design and adoption of the newly established initiative.

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