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Poverty and reproductive health in poor countries: Issues, measurement and evidence

BSPS day meeting - Sponsored in collaboration with the ESRC

New Academic Building (NABL09), LSE - Friday 29th May, 2009


The burden of out-of-pocket expenditure related to reproductive health service use remains largely unexplored in poor country contexts. The knock-on effect of poverty on reproductive health is difficult to quantify given limited crosssectional and longitudinal evidence as well as lack of representative data on health related expenditure at the individual level. Apart from the indirect costs, there is a lack of evidence on user-fees and institutional subsidies in the public and private sector and how these influence treatment/ care seeking behaviour, both short-term and long-term. Generating evidence through cross-country studies is essential to design effective and sustainable policies to enhance reproductive wellbeing of individuals.


  • To examine evidence on the pathways through which poverty affects reproductive health at the individual, household, institutional and community levels in poor countries, with a regional focus on Asia and Africa.

  • To provide a forum for debate on the short- and long-term impact of poverty on reproductive wellbeing

  • To discuss the challenges in measuring and interpreting empirical evidence on poverty and reproductive health

This day meeting is open to all, and is free-of-charge but there is only limited space available. However, PRE-REGISTRATION is essential, also for access to New Academic Building and for security related reasons – please email Ms. Anne Shepherd (pic@lse.ac.uk) or phone: 020 7955 7666.


09.30 Registration
09.50 Introduction - Sabu Padmadas, University of Southampton

Session 1: Chair – Zoë Matthews, University of Southampton
10.00 Poor health, poor women: How reproductive health affects poverty? - Tom Merrick, The World Bank Institute
10.40 An emerging consensus on tackling MDGs 4 and 5: Free health services for pregnant women and children - Robert Yates, UK Department for International Development
11.20 Coffee
11.40 Tracking financial resource flows for reproductive health services: Who pays and how much is paid for reproductive health care? - Frans Willekens, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute
12.20 Social and economic trajectories after obstetric 'near miss': longitudinal qualitative research in Burkina Faso' - Susan Murray, Kings College, London

13.00 Lunch

Session 2: Chair – Ernestina Coast, LSE
14.00 How reliable are the DHS household wealth quintile data in predicting reproductive health outcomes? - José G. Dias, Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa, Portugal
14.40 Economic aspects of access to maternal health care services: evidence from Indian data - KS James, Population Research Centre, Bangalore, India
15.20 Coffee
15.40 Poverty and out of pocket payments for maternal health care: The case of Kyrgyzstan - Jane Falkingham, Zoe Matthews, University of Southampton, Angela Baschieri, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
16.20 Discussion - Tiziana Leone, LSE
17.00 Close.

Sabu Padmadas (University of Southampton)
Tiziana Leone (London School of Economics)

Venue and location of the meeting
New Academic Building (NABL09)
Lincoln's Inn Fields
London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE