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Small family norm: Centre repackages scheme

By Gargi Parsai

NEW DELHI, AUG. 30. The Centre proposes to register pregnant women falling below the poverty line (BPL) to bring them under institutional care as part of the "Janani Surakha Yojna." The benefits under this scheme will be available to all BPL pregnant women who are 19 years old or above for two live births. As of now, only 30 per cent deliveries are done in a health institution.

The centre of the scheme is promotion of the "small family norm" as envisaged in the National Population Policy. The Government has sought the support of the Federation of Gynaecologists Society of India (FOGSI) and the Indian Medical Association for this. The population policy calls for bringing down the maternal mortality rate from 407 per 100,000 live births to 100 by 2010.

For men also

If the "repackaged" scheme appears to be based on incentives and focuses on sterilisation of women (as against men), then there are specific tubectomy schemes targeted at men as well, sources in the Health Ministry said. According to them, stress should be on proper implementation of the schemes down the line for them to be truly beneficial and effective in stabilising population.

The "repackages" scheme calls for identification of pregnancy-related complicated cases, enhanced assistance on delivery in a health institution, ante-natal check-up and neo-natal care and provision of appropriate referral and transport assistance.

Network planned

With districts as the focal point of the delivery system, vulnerable States have been asked to build a network of trained birth attendants and encourage them to be an effective link between the field level government machinery and intended beneficiaries. The States have also been asked to devise a quicker and timely disbursement of the benefits that will be totally Central funded.

Under the incentive-based scheme, in weak performing States, a mother will receive an assistance of Rs. 1,000 on the birth of a baby girl in a health centre and Rs. 400 on the birth of a baby boy.

In addition, transport assistance upto Rs. 150 a birth will be made available to all expectant women in the rural areas for the poor performing States.

Upto Rs. 1,500 will be made available for hiring experts in case the patient needs a Caesarean section. The local trained "dai" will also get incentives for acting as a link with the Government's health service provider.

The benefits of the scheme will be made available to a mother in a poor performing State even after the third live birth if the mother — voluntarily — chooses to undergo sterilisation at the health facility immediately after delivery.

A compensation amount of Rs. 200 will be given to the mother if she adopts a permanent method of sterilisation.

For building a public-private partnership, all benefits of the scheme will be available to the expectant mother for delivering in a registered clinic, nursing home and facility.

The disbursement of benefits will be made by the health worker immediately after discharge of the patient.

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