Broken Promises: Pregnant women and frontline health workers still await cash incentives

Baghmara, Jharkhand | Halima Ejaz

It has been over 8 months since Usha Devi a resident of Baghmara delivered her baby at a government hospital ,however, she is yet to receive cash incentives of Rs 1400 as promised under the Janani Suraksha Yojana – the government’s scheme to bring down maternal and neonatal deaths by incentivizing institutional deliveries. However, the non-provision of cash incentives is deterring women from delivering at government hospitals. “The next time I have a baby, I will not go to a government hospital,” she says. Frontline health workers are also given cash incentives of Rs 300 for each pregnant woman that they bring to a government hospital. However, they have not been paid either. “The Prime Minister has declared that the ‘good days’ are coming,” says Janardhan, President of the Rural Sanitary Committee. “If his lowest employees behave like this, then we don’t believe that we will ever see good days.”

Please call Baghmara Block Medical Officer, SM Jafarullah on +91 9431511867 and urge him to ensure that pregnant women as well as frontline health workers are given cash incentives as promised.

This series on Maternal Health is supported by Oxfam India

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