BENGALURU: In a boost to antenatal care, KC General Hospital in Malleswaram launched the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Maitritva Yojana on Tuesday.
Under the scheme, government hospitals, primary health care centres, community health centres, taluk hospitals, district hospitals and medical colleges across the country are required to provide free antenatal health check-ups for women once a month.
Karnataka Health Department officials chose to launch the scheme in the presence of the Health Minister K R Ramesh at this hospital here.
Pregnant women will be given free health check-ups and free treatment on the ninth of every month. The scheme is applicable for women who are three to six months pregnant. Women from semi-urban, poor and rural areas will be given preference.
Several tests for blood pressure, sugar, weight-check, haemoglobin and screening will be done.
The maternal mortality rate in Karnataka is 133/1 lakh live births, the goal is to reduce it to 100/1 lakh live births by 2017. According to the MoH, only 61.8 per cent women receive antenatal check-up (ANC) in the first trimester. Only 19.7 per cent get full ANC coverage.
Dr B Manjunath, Medical Superintendent, K C General Hospital, said, “The antenatal check-ups used to be unscheduled. But now, we intend to understand their disease status — gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, well in advance. We will have a physician, dietician and pathologist present for the check-ups. The ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) will bring women to the hospital. We intend to keep their mobile numbers and send them alerts on ANCs.”
There are five gynaecologists running the labour ward. The hospital sees 300-350 deliveries a month. There are at least 110 ANCs in a single day, said one gynaecologist of the ward.