18 October 2011
By , Kounteya Sinha
New Delhi , India
Hospital deliveries on the rise, maternal deaths dip
Institutional deliveries, where children are delivered at health centres or hospitals, have picked up in India over the last five–odd years. Around 60 lakh more infants were born in safe confines of healthcare centres in 2010–11 as compared to 2005–06.
Experts say one main reason for this spurt is the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), which was launched in April 2005, to reduce India’s shamefully high maternal and infant mortality rates. The JSY promoted institutional delivery among would–be mothers by providing cash assistance.
From 7.39 lakh pregnant women as beneficiaries in 2005–06, the JSY reached out to about 113 lakh in 2010–11. Consequently, the financial expenditure, under the scheme, increased manifold from Rs 38 crore in 2005–06 to Rs 1,618 crore in 2010–11.
A ministry official told TOI, “The JSY has been the most important contributing factor in increasing utilization of public health facilities by pregnant women. Records show that the scheme has been a success. No wonder, there has been a rise in institutional delivery. It has increased from 47% (DLHS–III, 2007–08) to 72.9% (CES, 2009). The RGI–SRS report for 2007–09 shows maternal mortality has dropped significantly: from 254 maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births during 2004–06 to 212 during 2007–09 at the national level.”
Emboldened, the ministry has launched the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram this year. The initiative entitles all would–be mothers free delivery, free drugs and free diagnostics.