Kadi: Saving Mothers and Babies, One Voucher at a Time

Population Council

Abstract

Each year, nearly 8,000 Kenyan women die during pregnancy or childbirth—and another 160,000 are injured or disabled—largely because they lack access to skilled medical attention. With the healthcare systems' high out-of-pocket fees, poorly staffed facilities, and costly transport from home many poor women believe that high-quality maternity care is out of reach. But now the Kenyan government is exploring an innovative program that gives the poorest women a "kadi," which means "voucher" in Swahili. Women can use them like coupons, exchanging vouchers for prenatal and delivery services from approved healthcare providers. The Population Council is measuring the difference that vouchers make in the lives of women who use them.