Does Facility-Based Delivery Reduce Neonatal Mortality? Evidence From Rwanda

Jiwon Park , University of Texas at Austin

Facility-based childbirth is considered to be safer than home birth and to help reduce neonatal mortality rate (NMR). Whether the policies reduce neonatal mortality rate is an empirical question that is less addressed in the literature. This paper examines whether facility-based delivery (FBD) reduces NMR, exploiting a policy intervention in Rwanda. I use a difference-in-difference strategy exploiting the heterogeneous response to the policy intervention based on the household's SES and birth characteristics. There is a rapid and large increase in facility delivery rate in the high risk population compared to low risk after the policy implementation, however, this is not accompanied by a reduction of NMR. Interestingly, the disparity between high and low risk mothers in cesarean section rate becomes even larger after 2006. To supplement these findings, I show that other relevant policies help maximize the effect on FBD and reduce the disparity in c-section.

See paper

 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2