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Analysis of policy interventions to attract and retain nurse midwives in rural areas of Malawi: A discrete choice experiment

Leslie Berman, Levison Nkhoma, Margaret Prust, Courtney McKay, Mihereteab Teshome, Dumisani Banda, Dalitso Kabambe and Andrews Gunda

PLOS ONE, 2021, vol. 16, issue 6, 1-17

Abstract: Background: Inadequate and unequal distribution of health workers are significant barriers to provision of health services in Malawi, and challenges retaining health workers in rural areas have limited scale-up initiatives. This study therefore aims to estimate cost-effectiveness of monetary and non-monetary strategies in attracting and retaining nurse midwife technicians (NMTs) to rural areas of Malawi. Methods: The study uses a discrete choice experiment (DCE) methodology to investigate importance of job characteristics, probability of uptake, and intervention costs. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with NMTs and students to identify recruitment and retention motivating factors. Through policymaker consultations, qualitative findings were used to identify job attributes for the DCE questionnaire, administered to 472 respondents. A conditional logit regression model was developed to produce probability of choosing a job with different attributes and an uptake rate was calculated to estimate the percentage of health workers that would prefer jobs with specific intervention packages. Attributes were costed per health worker year. Results: Qualitative results highlighted housing, facility quality, management, and workload as important factors in job selection. Respondents were 2.04 times as likely to choose a rural job if superior housing was provided compared to no housing (CI 1.71–2.44, p

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0253518

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