Rapti Municipality providing Rs 2,000 as ‘encouragement allowance’ to pregnant womenWomen who deliver babies in government-run health facilities inside the municipality will receive the encouragement allowance.
Rapti Municipality in Chitwan is providing an additional Rs 2,000 as encouragement allowance to pregnant women who opt for institutional birth.
As per the government’s announcement, pregnant women admitted at government health facilities are entitled to encouragement and transportation allowances as part of a bid to ensure safe delivery.
With the additional amount, new mothers who give birth at a government health facility will receive Rs 3,800 in total (including Rs 800, for those who complete all four antenatal checkups, and Rs 1,000 as travel and miscellaneous allowance.)
“Locals living in villages in the hills have to walk for at least four to six hours to reach the nearby health facilities; therefore, pregnant women prefer delivering their babies at home,” said Rajendra Prasad Parajuli, chief at the health unit in the municipality. With the additional amount, he hopes women will be encouraged to visit health facilities.
In the last fiscal year, only 196 pregnant women in the municipality went to health institutions for child delivery. According to the data of the municipality, 61.4 percent of pregnant women had completed their four antenatal check-ups in the fiscal year 2018/19.
Out of the seven health facilities in the municipality, four have birthing centres. Parajuli said that only a few pregnant mothers received delivery services in the last fiscal year. “The estimation of the municipality showed that the number of pregnant women in the municipality last fiscal year stood at 1,830, but only 950 women went to the health facilities for their pregnancy check-up in the same year,” said Parajuli.
In the first two months of this fiscal year, the number of pregnant women to visit health facilities was 42. “Hopefully, the government’s scheme will increase the number of women opting for institutional birth to around 250 this fiscal,” added Parajuli.
Prabha Baral, chief at the municipality, said that the programme has been launched keeping in mind the health of the mother and the newborn baby and to decrease the post-delivery mortality rate among rural women.