Under the Dr. Muthulashmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme (MRMBS), the Government of Tamil
Nadu provides financial assistance to poor women above 19 years for the first two pregnancies. Cash of Rs. 18,000/- is being disbursed on complete fulfillment of antenatal care guidelines. Although the infrastructure to support the scheme is in place, the utilization of the scheme needs to be analyzed to identify the gaps in the health care services.
|Dr. Muthulashmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme
|Tamil Nadu Government
|Financial assistance to poor pregnant mothers
|Poor pregnant mothers
|All VHN/UHN and PHC/UPHC
|Health and Family Welfare Department
The development of a nation is dependent on several factors of which health is a predominantone. This is indirectly reflected in the health status of the vulnerable groups especially motherand child health. The increasing prevalence of maternal deaths and infant deaths in poor andunderdeveloped countries is good evidence to show that health care availability and
accessibility (Universal health coverage) is key to nation-building.
In countries like India, the maternal mortality ratio has considerably reduced from 301 per 1 lakh live births in 2001-03 to 254 in 2004-06 and further down by 178 in 2010-12. This considerable reduction in maternal deaths may be attributed to various health care services and infrastructure development relating to maternal health in both urban and rural areas across India.
There have been several government schemes like Dr. Muthulashmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme introduced both in the center and at the state level for enhancing maternal health and improving institutional deliveries. In addition, the placement of adequate humanresources to tackle health care issues by way of training the midwives and ANMs and alsostrengthening the referral system has gone a long way in reduction of the maternal mortality
Although India has made considerable progress in improving the overall health status, thecomplications of pregnancies and childbirth are still persistent and result in disability amongwomen of reproductive age. Several factors like malnutrition, poverty, illiteracy, and unhygienic living conditions complemented by infections, un-regulated fertility, and lack of
awareness are responsible for these complications.
Studies have shown that the lack of institutional deliveries has been the key reason for such maternal and child-related complications. Envisaging the complications involved in-home deliveries, the government of Tamil Nadu had implemented a modest childbirth assistant scheme named after Dr. MuthuLakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme, Tamil Nadu’s first woman doctor, and social activist.
The scheme was launched in 1987 and is known as the Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme (MRMBS). Under this scheme, the government provides financial assistance to poor women During maternity.
Financial assistance is provided for women over 19 years of age and only for the first two pregnancies. The Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme provides a total of Rs. 18000 as cash assistance given as seven installments. The mandatory criteria for receiving each installment include antenatal registration in the first trimester, completion of the third month, availing of nutritional kits, and completion of essential vaccines for the infant at the appropriate time.
Under the scheme, the government provides a nutritional kit that consists of a healthy mix of powders iron, and folic acids syrup, protein biscuits, dates, ghee, and Albendazole tablets. Although the infrastructure to support the maternity benefit scheme is in place, the accessibility of the utilization of the scheme needs to be analyzed in order to identify the gaps in the health care services.
In order to explore the gaps, it is essential to analyze the level of awareness regarding the benefits of the scheme. This will go along way in formulating a strategy to impart the knowledge to the beneficiary so as to enhance the availability of these schemes and also improve the quality of life and the mortality indicators.
|Antenatal registration on or before 12 weeks
|Completion of third month (Kind benefit)
|After 4 months
|Second Nutrition Kit (Kind benefit)
|After completion of all 3rd doses of OPV/Rota/Penta valent and 2 doses of IPV.
|After completion of Measles Rubella vaccination between 9th and 12th month of their infants.
|Health Mix Powder for Pregnant Mothers
- The pregnant mother should have completed 19 yrs of age
- The eligible mother will receive all 5 Installments for Two deliveries only
- HOB and Migrant mothers will receive 1st and 5th installments on certain conditions
To avail of the benefits of the Dr. Muthulashmi Scheme, the lady has to register her pregnancy before 12 weeks with the VHN / UHN or she should have pre-registered her pregnancy before 12 weeks.
All VHN/UHN and PHC/UPHC
Muthu Lakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme was implemented to achieve 100% institutional deliveries in Tamil Nadu in order to minimize the complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. The scheme provides cash assistance in various installments when the pregnant mother fulfills the criteria to satisfy adequate antenatal care. Although there has been enough media coverage regarding the scheme, the awareness level among rural pregnant mothers is scarce.