Cost-effectiveness of strategies to reduce maternal mortality in Afghanistan

March 14, 2012

In the upcoming issue of Health Policy and Planning, CHDS researchers Natalie Carvalho and Sue Goldie, along with Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health Ahmad Shah Salehi, use the Global Maternal Health Policy Model to estimate the health benefits and cost-effectiveness of strategies to reduce maternal mortality in Afghanistan. The researchers find family planning to be the most effective individual intervention to reduce pregnancy-related mortality; if contraception use approaches 60%, 1 in 3 maternal deaths could be averted. Integrated strategies that improve access to high-quality intrapartum and emergency obstetrical care, coupled with family planning, were found to be highly effective and very cost-effective, with incremental cost-effectiveness ratios below $200/YLS at the national level. These integrated strategies could reduce maternal deaths in Afghanistan by 70-80%.