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Govt launches scheme for pregnant women

Aiming to bring down infant and maternal mortality rates, government has launched a scheme to provide free hospitalisation, medicine and food for women during delivery.

Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha today on Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate and Medical Education and Research, Puduchery (Amendment) Bill, 2010, Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad said that under the scheme, government would also provide to and fro travel cost to the nearby hospital.

“If any medicine, which is required and the hospital does not have the supply at that moment, it will be the hospital’s responsibility to bring that medicine for the patient,” he said.

The Minister said that of the 2.6 crore children born every year, 20 lakh die soon after the birth due to lack of proper care and medical facilities. Among the pregnant women, 70,000 die every year.

The scheme is part of the government’s effort to bring down  infant and maternal mortality rates, which are still very high in the country and surpass those in our neighbours.

A caesarean baby would also get the required treatment free of cost at government hospitals for a period of one month, Azad said.

For early detection and prevention on non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cancer, government has launched a pilot project in 100 districts covering a population of around 15 crore, the Minister said.

Azad said that to verify the exact number of children covered under the vaccination programme, the states have been asked to provide details of the children’s parents, their addresses and telephone numbers.

This caused an uproar in the House with opposition members saying that all people don’t have fixed-line or mobile telephone connections.

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