Determinant of obstetric ultrasound demand in emerging market: evidence from Malawi

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Low-and middle-income countries (LMIC) are one of the fastest growing emerging markets in the health industry. Low-cost portable ultrasound was developed to meet the unique need of LMIC, which account for more than 99% of the world’s maternal death. Although there is evidence of its ability to diagnose abnormal pregnancies, many households in LMIC lack the ability to pay. This poses a number of research questions: how big is the willingness to pay, and what is the determinant of willingness to pay? Furthermore, how does couple’s agreement on gender preference play a role in demand for obstetric ultrasound? We will answer this question using panel data collected in Malawi containing information on 1342 women who received obstetric ultrasound and their willingness to pay. Also, we will characterize the prevalence of fetal growth restriction and abnormal fetal presentation to assess the true magnitude of preventable neonatal morbidity and mortality. 

Principal Investigator (PI):   Yaeeun Han, Institute for Emerging Markets Studies

This project is funded by the HKUST IEMS Research Grants 2021.

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