- With an aim to reduce maternal and infant mortality, the government has rolled out a new scheme to provide fixed-day antenatal care to pregnant women on the 9th of every month.
- The scheme is aimed at ensuring that every pregnant woman undergoes essential checkups during pregnancy to avoid unnecessary complication.
- Scheme is applicable to women through their third to sixth month of pregnancy.
- A key feature of the scheme includes services by gynaecology specialists and physicians with support from private sector doctors to supplement the efforts of the government sector.
- These services include ultrasound, blood and urine tests, in addition to routine antenatal check-up.
- It also invites the private sector to provide free ante-natal services (ANC) on a
- voluntary basis to pregnant women, especially those living in under-served, semi-urban, poor and rural areas.
- India’s MMR of 167 (167 maternal deaths per 100,000 births) failed to meet its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of bringing down maternal deaths to under 140 by 2015.
- India’s IMR stands at 40 deaths per 1,000 live births, against an MDG target of 29. Only 15 states and UTs — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Delhi,Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Manipur, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim and Punjab — have achieved an IMR of 29 and under.
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