Chennai: In a move to provide optimal nutrition for pregnant and lactating women, the Tamil Nadu government is all set to increase the benefits given under Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme by Rs 5,000.
The cash assistance being provided to pregnant mothers under Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme is being further enhanced to Rs 18,000 from Rs 12,000, said state health department officials.
“The new guidelines are under process to allot Rs 18,000 along with revised nutrition programmes under the scheme. The financial aid of Rs 12,000 was being given in three installments (Rs 4000) for pregnant women aged 19 years or more on conditional release and restricted for first two deliveries only. However, the conditional release is being updated coupled with new nutrition plans and is likely to be implemented in April,” said public health director Dr K Kolandaisamy.
Every pregnant woman below poverty line who avails all required antenatal services during pregnancy in concerned primary health center can benefit from the scheme.
Mothers who deliver in government institutions and complete immunization for the child up to third dose of vaccinations under universal immunization programme are given the cash assistance. Other conditions are being upgraded and will be implemented shortly, state health department officials.
The registration of pregnant women is mandatory with the 'Pregnant and Infant Cohort Monitoring and Evaluation (PICME)' portal that generates a 12-digit 'Reproductive and Child Health' (RCH) ID number and the entries to avail the benefit can be done only for the mothers having PICME number with her during delivery.
A total of 25,698 pregnant women received cash assistance of `21.76 crore under Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme in the last two years in the district, said officials....