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What do you think was one of the most dangerous moments in your mother’s life? Most likely when she gave birth to you! This is shockingly true even in some rich and developed nations, but especially so for countries in the developing world, such as Kenya, where many women are poor and lack access to adequate medical facilities. These women often give birth at home, where no trained medical staff is on hand when complications occur. To improve their chances of survival, the Kenyan government got rid of the fee for giving birth at public health facilities in 2013. We conducted a survey of women of childbearing ages in five cities in Kenya before and after the fee stopped being charged. Among poor women, we found that they were more likely to deliver their baby at a public facility than at home after the delivery fee was removed, but we did not have the same findings among all women.

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November 2018

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