Hyderabad: Financial benefits along with a kit for pregnant women and infants, introduced in 2017 through KCR Kits scheme, have continued to drive admissions at maternity hospitals in the State. Within a short period of 26 months, the State government hospitals have conducted over six lakh deliveries under the scheme.
Launched in June 2017, the welfare initiative till date has also attracted a record 16 lakh registrations from women who are willing to deliver babies in State-run hospitals. Under the scheme, 6.7 lakh deliveries were conducted at government hospitals, while close to 4.5 lakh were taken up at private facilities.
So far, cumulatively authorities have also distributed over 5 lakh KCR Kits and released over Rs.500 crore towards financial benefits to pregnant women who chose government hospitals.
Healthcare looks up
There have been improvements of vital healthcare parameters at multiple levels. Apart from the obvious increase in deliveries at State-run hospitals, the scheme has led to an improvement in prenatal care in the form of regular Antenatal (ANC) check-ups. The initiative has also fuelled institutional deliveries, especially in government hospitals, which now attract more pregnant women than private healthcare facilities.
The financial benefits of Rs.13,000 for girl child and Rs.12,000 for male child are released to women in five different stages during pregnancy. To avail the financial benefits, pregnant women must undergo regular ANC check-ups before delivering the baby and also attend the all-important immunisation sessions after delivery. As a result, the number of mothers walking in for ANC check-ups and immunisation in various government hospitals now hovers over 90 per cent.
Impact on IMR and MMR
Public health specialists point out that the twin benefits of Aarogya Lakshmi, which provides nutritious food to pregnant women in government hospitals and KCR Kits will have a positive long-term effect in vital healthcare parameters like Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR).
Universally, across India both the IMR and MMR are on the decline. Similar is the case in Telangana where IMR in 2015 and 2016 was 34 and 31 respectively. By 2018, the IMR, which is number of deaths per 1,000 live births, according to health authorities in Telangana now is close to 28 and is expected to drop further in the coming years.