U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.


Please provide a summary of the key corruption risks and potential mitigation measures in maternal and perinatal health

Corruption in maternal and perinatal health negatively affects the health of mother and child in different ways. Corruption can divert much needed funds from obstetric healthcare specifically, driving down the quality of the services provided. Informal payments can deter low-income pregnant mothers from giving birth in institutional facilities, imperilling their lives and their unborn children. Such practices can also damage the trust relationship between patient and doctor.

Unnecessary procedures, particularly caesarean sections, can be driven by profit or to facilitate and speed up births in an understaffed environment.

More research should be done on the drivers of the different corruption risks to understand how to mitigate them.


  1. Introduction
  2. Corruption in resource allocation
  3. Corruption at the point of service delivery
    1. Informal payments
    2. Impact of informal payments
    3. Unnecessary procedures
    4. Patronage and fees for jobs
    5. Absenteeism
    6. Other corruption risks
    7. Intersectionality
  4. Policy priorities – recommendations
    1. Systemic reforms
    2. Monitoring and accountability
    3. Healthcare staff
    4. Reporting mechanisms
  5. References


Gabriela Camacho (TI)

[email protected]


Monica Kirya (U4)

Caitlin Maslen and Jamie Bergin (TI)




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