Bolivia has just instituted a new initiative that would grant pregnant women $258 over the course of gestation contingent on them attending regular pre- and post-natal medical appointments. As it stands, two women die in the country every day due to pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. The government hopes the new measure will dramatically lower this mortality rate.
Named the Juana Azurduy mother-child subsidy, the payment is transferred to women in such a way that they must consistently interact with health services, making it much easier for the government to register and track pregnancies. In its first year, the stipend will be paid to about 550,000 women and children. Women receive $7 after each pre-natal checkup and $17 following their first post-natal checkup. The rest is divided into twelve payments of $17.70 guaranteed as long as the parents continue to bring the child in for regular doctor visits.
Bolivia has reported that its medical facilities are underutilized. It hopes that this program will encourage more people to take advantage of these facilities, helping them to strengthen their infrastructure and modernize at the same time. So far, the subsidy has fielded positive reviews from maternal health nonprofits.