A new study conducted by India Human Development Survey (IHDS) brings in first conclusive evidence of the role played by Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) in reducing ‘socioeconomic disparities’ existing in maternal care.
Main highlights of the study:
- According to the study, JSY has led to an enhancement in the utilisation of health services among all groups especially among the poorer and underserved sections in the rural areas, thereby reducing the prevalent disparities in maternal care.
- Three key services of maternal care were used for the analysis: full antenatal care (full ANC), safe delivery, and postnatal care.
- The increase in utilisation of all three maternal healthcare services between the two rounds was remarkably higher among illiterate or less educated and poor women.
- The usage of all three maternal healthcare services by the OBC, Dalit, Adivasis and Muslim women increased between the surveys.
- After the implementation of the JSY, there was generally a narrowing of the gap between the less educated and more educated women and between the poorer and richer women.
- It was found that women in their early twenties were more likely to avail of each of the three maternal health care services as compared to their older women. Also, the incidence of women availing maternal healthcare services decreases with the increase in the number of children they have delivered.
- The study notes that the gap in access to healthcare between the marginalised group of women and those who are financially better-off has declined since the advent of the JSY program. But, inequality in access to maternal care persists
About Janani Suraksha Yojana:
- Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) is a safe motherhood intervention under the National Rural Health Mission (NHM). It is being implemented with the objective of reducing maternal and neonatal mortality by promoting institutional delivery among poor pregnant women. The scheme is under implementation in all states and Union Territories (UTs), with a special focus on Low Performing States (LPS).
- Janani Suraksha Yojana was launched in April 2005 by modifying the National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS).
- The NMBS came into effect in August 1995 as one of the components of the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP).
- The scheme was transferred from the Ministry of Rural Development to the Department of Health & Family Welfare during the year 2001-02.
- The NMBS provides for financial assistance of Rs. 500/- per birth up to two live births to the pregnant women who have attained 19 years of age and belong to the below poverty line (BPL) households.
- When JSY was launched the financial assistance of Rs. 500/- , which was available uniformly throughout the country to BPL pregnant women under NMBS, was replaced by graded scale of assistance based on the categorization of States as well as whether beneficiary was from rural/urban area.
- States were classified into Low Performing States and High Performing States on the basis of institutional delivery rate i.e. states having institutional delivery 25% or less were termed as Low Performing States (LPS) and those which have institutional delivery rate more than 25% were classified as High Performing States (HPS).
- Accordingly, eight erstwhile EAG states namely Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Odisha and the states of Assam & Jammu & Kashmir were classified as Low Performing States. The remaining States were grouped into High Performing States.