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Fact Checking Government claims about Welfare  & Benefits to Pregnant Women

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The BJP government has published an infographic on the 48- months portal that makes four claims about welfare & benefits to pregnant women. This article is a fact check of the claims.

The BJP government has published an infographic on the 48-months portal that makes four claims about welfare & benefits to pregnant women. This article is a fact check of the claims. 

How many antenatal check-ups have been conducted?

The first claim is that ‘more than 1.16 crore antenatal check-ups conducted at over 12,900 health facilities’.

According to the official website, ‘the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan has been launched by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India. The program aims to provide assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care, free of cost, universally to all pregnant women on the 9th of every month. PMSMA guarantees a minimum package of antenatal care services to women in their 2nd/3rd trimesters of pregnancy at designated government health facilities’.

In a question answered in the Lok Sabha in July 2018, it is stated that ‘since its inception in 2016, free quality antenatal services are provided to all pregnant women visiting 13047 PMSMA sites across the country. Over 1.35 crore antenatal check-ups have been conducted under the progamme till date’. However, this is not the first ever program on antenatal care. The previous governments also had dedicated antenatal care programs.

Claim: More than 1.16 crore antenatal check-ups conducted at over 12,900 health facilities.

Fact: 1.35 crore antenatal check-ups have been conducted under the progamme. Hence, the claim is TRUE.

How many pregnant women have been immunized?

The second claim is that ‘80.63 lakh pregnant women immunized’.

To increase the rate of increase of full immunization coverage, Government of India launched Mission Indradhanush in December 2014 with an aim to increase the full immunization coverage to at least 90% by 2020, which has now been pre-poned to 2018. Mission Indradhanush has completed four phases (from April 2015 to July 2017) covering 528 districts wherein 68.79 lakh pregnant females immunized.  As on 15th January, 2018, under Intensified Mission Indradhanush, the number of pregnant women vaccinated is 10.05 lakh. This implies that a total of 78.84 lakh women have been immunized during their pregnancy, under mission Indradhanush.

More recent data shows that a total of 81.780 lakh women have been immunized under this scheme. Again, immunization of pregnant women is not a new program.

Claim: 80.63 lakh pregnant women immunized.

Fact: 81.780 lakh women have been immunized under the mission Indradhanush and under the intensifies mission Indradhanush. Hence, the claim is TRUE. However, immunization of pregnant women is not a new program.

How many women are expected to benefit from cash incentives?

The third claim is that ‘more than 50 lakh pregnant women expected to benefit every year with cash incentive of 6000 rupees’.

According to an answer in Lok Sabha ‘the Government has approved Pan-India implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), a new Centrally Sponsored Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme in May 2017  for implementation across the country. The maternity benefit under PMMVY is available to the eligible beneficiaries for first living child of family. Normally, the first pregnancy of a woman exposes her to new kinds of challenges and stress factors. Hence, the scheme provides support to the mother for the safe delivery and immunization of her first child. Under the scheme Rs. 5,000  are provided to the eligible beneficiary in three installments. The eligible beneficiary also receives the remaining cash incentive as per approved norms towards maternity benefit under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) after institutional delivery so that on an average, a woman gets Rs.6,000,

While the total number of beneficiaries enrolled for the scheme are 56,29,662, the number of beneficiaries who got paid the money are 46,54,956.  A similar program existed during the UPA, known as the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY). Another similar program called the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) was also implemented during the UPA. JSY was seen to have given positive results.

Claim: More than 50 lakh pregnant women expected to benefit every year with cash incentive of 6000 rupees.

Fact: 56 lakh beneficiaries (pregnant women) have been enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY). Out of this, only 46 lakh women have received the payment.  Hence, the claim is MISLEADING. Moreover, similar programs existed during the UPA as well.

How many high risk pregnancies have been identified?

The fourth claim is that ‘more than 6 lakh high risk pregnancies identified’.

One of the critical components of the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan is identification and follow-up of high risk pregnancies. Since its inception in 2016, Over 7 lakh women with high risk conditions have been identified.

Claim: More than 6 lakh high risk pregnancies identified.

Fact: Since its inception in 2016, Over 7 lakh women with high risk conditions have been identified. Hence, the claim is TRUE.

This story is part of a larger series on the 4-years of the Modi government. This series has been made possible with the flash grant of the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). Read the rest of the stories in this series here

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