October 19, 2019
The gynaecological wing of a government Primary Health Centre (PMC) in the Nilgiris district provides government grants and antenatal care to pregnant women.
However, the pregnant mothers complained that they have neither received the advance money of the grant nor the nutritional packages from the centre near the Ooty railway station.
They said that the nutritional packages benefit them only during pregnancy, ensuring good health of mother and baby. “What is the use of giving it after we deliver the baby,” one of them quipped, requesting officials to expedite the distribution of the packages to us.
Each package contains a health mix powder of 1 kilo, three bottles of iron tonic, I kg of dates, health biscuits 500 gm and Aavin ghee 500ml with one Alpendsol tablet for de-worming during pregnancy.
The pregnant women receive Rs.18,000 under the Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit scheme. Based on that, women who have registered within 12 weeks of pregnancy will receive Rs.2000 as advance amount in their bank accounts. After three months, a nutrition package costing Rs.2000 is given in the third month. If the women keep up the scheduled visits to the hospital, the Rs.18,000 package is disbursed in five instalments.
One expectant mother said: “We have followed all registration rules like submitting pregnancy numbers, Aadhar numbers, bank details and other ID proofs. When we asked the medical staff for the nutrition packages, they say it is over and promise to give us when fresh consignment arrives. We are village sanitary workers and this daily visits are very inconvenient for us.”
They claimed that because of this they have not been able to get the government cash grant.
The PMC, which caters to pregnant women from nearly 36 wards besides handling other obstetric issues within specified time limits, conducts blood, urine, thyroid, glucose tests. The centre,
which treats contagious diseases and administers vaccinations for ill patients, is equipped with scan and weighing machines to record the women’s progress, with doctors recommending protein-rich food, fruits and vegetables in their daily diet.
Pregnant women from neighbouring districts and those from north India residing in Ooty also register themselves in anganwadis soon after they conceive and visit the centre for periodical check-ups.