Limited access to health services during the antenatal period and during childbirth, due to financial barriers, is an obstacle to reducing maternal and child mortality. To improve the use of health services in the three regions of Cameroon, which have the worst reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health indicators, a health voucher project aiming to reduce financial barriers has been progressively implemented since 2015 in these three regions. Our research aimed to assess the impact of the voucher scheme on first antenatal consultation (ANC) and skilled birth attendance (SBA).


Routine aggregated data by month over the period January 2013 to May 2018 for each of the 33 and 37 health facilities included in the study sample were used to measure the effect of the voucher project on the first ANC and SBA, respectively. We estimated changes attributable to the intervention in terms of the levels of outcome indicators immediately after the start of the project and over time using an interrupted time series regression. A meta-analysis was used to obtain the overall estimates.


Overall, the voucher project contributed to an immediate and statistically significant increase, one month after the start of the project, in the monthly number of ANCs (by 26%) and the monthly number of SBAs (by 57%). Compared to the period before the start of the project, a statistically significant monthly increase was observed during the project implementation for SBAs but not for the first ANCs. The results at the level of health facilities (HFs) were mixed. Some HFs experienced an improvement, while others were faced with the status quo or a decrease.


Unlike SBAs, the voucher project in Cameroon had mixed results in improving first ANCs. These limited effects were likely the consequence of poor design and implementation challenges.

Article Citation

Sieleunou, I., Enok Bonong, R.P. Does health voucher intervention increase antenatal consultations and skilled birth attendances in Cameroon? Results from an interrupted time series analysis. BMC Health Serv Res 24, 602 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-024-10962-9


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