Cash incentives might help to change behaviour, MPs toldBMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39568.749815.DB (Published 08 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1036
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In News Adrian O'Dowd1 stated that the United Kingdom MPs s agreed to
encourage people to change their behavior to end health inequalities by
cash incentives. I also agree that cash incentives may resolve the health
inequalities in developed country like UK as well as developing countries.
But how long will the cash incentives program continue to end health
inequalities in UK?
During the last decade, countries with transitional and middle-income
economies have introduced some programmes that incentives money to poor
households on the condition that they comply with a set of requirements,
including attendance for health care, food and nutritional
supplementation, and enrolment of children in school.
In a recent study Lia CH Fernald and colleagues2 also showed that a
doubling of conditional cash transfer (CCT) was associated with higher
height-for-age, low prevalence of stunting, lower body-mass index for age
percentile and low prevalence of being overweight.
A study conducted in four rural areas in Bangladesh and collected
1511 women who had live birth during 1996-1998 showed that 87% of the
mothers sought care for their newborns and seeking care was found to be
associated with the gender of the neonate, birth order, antenatal care of
the mother from trained providers, father's education and monthly
expenditure of the family 3. In another study showed that monthly
expenditure TK. 4000(US$ 60) or more were likely to seek care of their
newborns than families with monthly expenditure less that TK. 2000 (US$
60)4. Socioeconomic status also associated improving of sanitation,
drinking safe water, taking balance diet, education and mental growth in
In conclusion, to satisfy the Millennium Development Goals 4 by 2015
world leader should be made efforts regarding better financial access for
the poor, poverty reduction, awareness about health, and food security for
all, are essential to sustain the success. We need to improve the total
socioeconomic status rather than money incentives for a while s to end
health inequalities in the developed and developing counties.
We declare that we have no conflict of interest
*Dewan Sakhawat Billal, Ph.D, Postdoctoral fellow
Assistant Professor Munuki Hotomi ,MD, Ph.D
Professor Noboru Yamanaka, MD, Ph.D
Division of Infection and Immunity research Center,
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery,
Wakayama Medical University,
1.O'Down A. Cash might help to change unhealthy behavior, MPs told.
2. Fernald LCH, Gertler PJ, Neufeld LM. Role of cash in conditional
cash transfer programmes for child health, growth, and development: an
analysis of Mexico's Oportunidades. Lancet 2008; 371: 828�E7.
3. Mercer A, Haseen F, Huq NL, Uddin N, Hossain Khan M, Larson CP.
Risk factors for neonatal mortality in rural areas of Bangladesh served by
a large NGO programme. Health Policy Plan 2006;21:432-43.
4. Ahmed S, Sobhan F, Islam A, Barkat-e-Khuda. Neonatal morbidity and
care-seeking behaviour in rural Bangladesh. J Trop Pediatr 2001 ; 47:98-
Competing interests: No competing interests