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Submitted by Rob Yates on
Has anyone spotted that the big fall in infant mortality in Africa over the last five years has coincided with the period when more and more African governments removed user fees for health services - especially for pregnant women and children? The Kenyan example is illustrative because bed net use only sky-rocketed post 2003 when the Government started distributing them free of charge. In these papers I charted the beginning of this trend to remove user fees In Africa and noted how many governments were starting this process by exempting women and children first http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)60258-0/fulltext http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/88/6/09-074401/en/index.html 2012 marks an important anniversary in this area, as it is 25 years ago since a number of influential development agencies started encouraging African governments to charge user fees - including for young children. Following these excellent recent results one really thinks that these agencies owe it to the developing world to acknowledge that this policy was wrong.