Unicef all praises for Gujarat scheme for pregnant women

via http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-4012031,prtpage-1.cms published on January 21, 2009

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat government’s ‘Chiranjeevi Yojna’ for free obstetric care to pregnant women living below poverty line has earned the appreciation of UNICEF, which has mentioned it in its report ‘State of World Children 2009’.

“The Gujarat Government’s initiative (Chiranjeevi Yojna) is a departure from previous practice as it takes sole responsibility for the reimbursement of private health-care providers, rather than relying on intermediary parties such as insurers,” the report states.

The efforts of the state government find a mention in chapter four of the report: Strengthening health system to improve maternal and newborn health. The chapter illustrates through practical examples from various countries about how interventions can be effective along the entire continuum of care for mother and child.

“The State (Gujarat) government is working with professional agencies such as associations of obstetricians and academic organisations to plan and implement new arrangements,” it added while stressing on efforts to integrate maternal and new-born health-care in India.

Under the scheme, which was launched by Gujarat in 2005 and operates through an agreement with private obstetricians, the State government pays Rs 1,795 to the doctor for every delivery besides giving Rs 200 to the woman towards transportation costs. The person accompanying the patient also gets Rs 50 as compensation for the loss of earnings.

The report also states that a study conducted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 2006 said that the Yojna had successfully raised the number of births in health-care facilities but noted that many women were still reluctant to use the scheme.

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