Making the continuum of care work for mothers and infants: does gender equity matter? Findings from a quasi-experimental study in Bihar, India
This study explores the impact of the Ananya health intervention on reproductive, maternal and newborn health continuum of care in Bihar, India.
While the Ananya intervention had positive effects on part of mothers and infants in Bihar, the study found that child marriage attenuated the intervention’s impact on utilisation of key health services and behaviours, especially concerning antenatal care, skilled birth attendance and exclusive breastfeeding.
Other factors such as poverty and low levels of education – both related to child marriage – played a role in limiting the effects of the intervention.
These findings suggest that health programmes need to better address the need of women who married before 18, and that support for greater gender equity for women would be beneficial to maternal and child health programming.
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