Centre’s scheme to protect pregnant women launched
In an effort improve health facilities for pregnant women, the Centre on Friday launched a flagship programme christened as Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan. The scheme aims at providing free health check-ups to pregnant women.
The PMSMA, which is popularly referred to as ‘I pledge for 9’, was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat on June 9. It invites the private sector to provide free ante-natal services (ANC) on the 9th of every month on a voluntary basis to pregnant women, especially those living in under-served, semi-urban, poor and rural areas.
In his radio address, Modi had appealed to doctors across India to contribute 12 days in a year to save India’s mothers and newborns.
“We want this programme to turn into a movement. We have requested doctors in the private sector to visit public hospitals and provide free check up to pregnant women,” said health minister JP Nadda.
In India, one pregnant woman dies every 12 minutes, with 45,000 dying each year. Of them, less than one in five (19.7 per cent) undergo pre-natal health check ups.