In India, maternal and neonatal mortality rates were historically high for various reasons, including lack of access to healthcare facilities, financial constraints, and inadequate medical care. The Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) is a pioneering initiative by the Government of India to address this challenge head-on. The JSSK scheme aims to lower these mortality rates by ensuring that pregnant women and newborns receive timely and appropriate medical attention.
Many women and families in India are reluctant to seek healthcare due to financial concerns. The JSSK scheme eliminates this barrier by providing free antenatal care, delivery services, cesarean sections, postnatal care, and neonatal care.
In a diverse and complex country like India, where healthcare disparities can often be stark, ensuring access to quality healthcare for mothers and their newborns becomes crucial. Launched in 2011, the program is focused on reducing maternal and infant mortality rates and improving their overall health status by providing free and cashless healthcare services to pregnant women and infants. This blog delves into the key aspects, benefits, impact and objectives of the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram.
The Objective of Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram
The Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram, often called JSSK, is part of the broader National Health Mission (NHM) and focuses on pregnant women and infants. JSSK has been implemented across all the states and union territories of India. Its primary objective is to ensure that financial constraints do not hinder women from accessing essential maternal and child healthcare services.
By providing free and cashless services, the JSSK aims to encourage more women to seek timely medical care during pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal phases. It also ensures the well-being of the neonate. It caters to all the medical needs that might arise within 30 days of birth, including admission into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Key Features of Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram
The Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram encompasses essential features that ensure cost-effective and comprehensive maternal and child healthcare services.
Free Delivery Services
One of the most critical aspects of Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram is its provision of free delivery services in public health institutions. This encompasses all expenses related to childbirth, ensuring that pregnant women have access to safe deliveries, whether through natural birth or cesarean section. This includes the cost of medical procedures, surgical interventions, medications, blood transfusions if required, postnatal care during the hospital stay, and even neonatal care for a month.
Cash Assistance for Transportation
JSSK offers cash assistance to eligible pregnant women to alleviate the financial burden associated with transportation. The scheme provides free transport from home to healthcare facility, between different facilities in case of referrals, and free transit at discharge from the hospital to home. This cash incentive helps cover travel expenses incurred when women travel to government healthcare facilities for deliveries. By providing this incentive, the program encourages women to opt for institutional deliveries instead of unassisted home births, which can be riskier.
JSSK focuses on early and accurate diagnosis by offering free diagnostic services to pregnant women and infants. This includes vital tests like blood tests, ultrasounds, and other diagnostic procedures that help monitor the health of both mother and child. Timely diagnostics facilitate early intervention and appropriate medical care.
Free Medicines and Consumables
JSSK ensures that women and newborns receive essential medicines and consumables at no cost while at public health institutions. This includes medications, sterile delivery kits, and medical supplies for safe and hygienic childbirth and postnatal care. This component significantly reduces out-of-pocket expenses for families.
A free nutritious diet is provided to the mother by the hospital for three days in case of normal delivery and up to 7 days for women who have undergone a caesarean section. This enables quicker recovery and regaining of strength by the mother post-delivery.
Maternal and Newborn Health Services
Beyond childbirth, the program extends its coverage to antenatal and postnatal care for pregnant women and essential healthcare for newborns. This includes check-ups, breastfeeding assistance, vaccinations, and specialised care for sick newborns. A comprehensive approach ensures overall better health outcomes for both mothers and infants.
Benefits and Impact of Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram
The Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram JSSK has brought significant benefits, enhancing maternal and child healthcare access and reducing financial burdens.
Increased Institutional Deliveries
Free delivery services and cash assistance have substantially increased institutional deliveries. This shift from home births to healthcare facilities under medical supervision significantly reduces the risk of complications during childbirth and contributes to better maternal and infant health.
Reduced Maternal Mortality
Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram has played a pivotal role in reducing maternal mortality rates by ensuring pregnant women have access to professional medical care during childbirth. Women who give birth in healthcare facilities are more likely to receive timely medical attention in case of emergencies.
Improved Child Health
JSSK’s focus on providing comprehensive healthcare services to newborns has contributed to declining infant mortality rates. Early diagnostics, vaccinations, and immediate and proper medical attention for sick newborns have collectively improved child health outcomes.
The program’s emphasis on providing free and cashless services has helped bridge the gap in healthcare access for women from marginalised and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. This ensures that every mother and child receives the necessary care regardless of socioeconomic status. Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram is a boon for single mothers, too, as they often do not have the financial support for childbirth.
JSSK has raised awareness about the importance of seeking medical care during pregnancy and childbirth. As a result, more women and families are making informed choices about healthcare and prioritising safe deliveries in healthcare facilities.
The Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) has significantly impacted maternal and child healthcare in India since its inception in June 2011. More than 12 million pregnant women across the country are expected to benefit from this scheme. The state governments modify this scheme from time to time to increase its coverage and benefits. By 2014, the scheme also started covering the expenses involved during the antenatal and postnatal periods. Additionally, the child could now benefit from free treatment in public hospitals up to 1 year of age.
Eligibility for Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram
The primary eligibility for Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram is that the woman must be pregnant when applying for the scheme and belong to a below-the-poverty line (BPL) household. The women should be above 19 years of age, and this scheme is applicable for up to 2 live births.
The documents required for applying for JSSK include address proof, Aadhar card, ration card, domicile certificate, and Janani Suraksha card.
The eligibility criteria might vary slightly based on the guidelines set by each state’s health department.
How to Apply for Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram?
The scheme is implemented through government health facilities such as public hospitals, community health centres, and primary health centres. The pregnant woman needs to visit the nearest government health facility for antenatal check-ups and delivery. Visit the hospital office and ask for enrolment into the JSSK scheme. They will provide an application form in which the pregnant woman needs to fill in her personal and medical information and attach some documents such as address proof copy, Aadhar card copy, and BPL ration card, and submit.
After these details and documents are verified, the lady will be enrolled under the scheme. She will be eligible for free antenatal care, delivery services, postnatal care, and newborn care per the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram guidelines. This includes free drugs, diagnostics, and medical services related to pregnancy, childbirth, and early infancy.
How can Ketto be Helpful for Pregnant Women?
Ketto is a crowdfunding platform that primarily focuses on helping individuals and organisations raise funds for various causes, including medical expenses, education, social causes, and more. Ketto could help pregnant women and neonates belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in the following ways:
Medical Fundraising Campaigns
Ketto could be used to create crowdfunding campaigns to raise funds to support medical expenses related to pregnancy, childbirth, and neonatal care. These campaigns could help BPL families who might struggle to afford quality healthcare.
Prenatal Care and Nutrition
Crowdfunding campaigns on Ketto could focus on providing access to prenatal care, proper nutrition, and necessary supplements for pregnant women belonging to BPL families. These efforts could contribute to healthier pregnancies and better neonatal outcomes.
Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs)
NICU care can be crucial for premature or sick neonates. Ketto campaigns could be created to raise funds for neonatal intensive care, specialised medical interventions, and life-saving treatments for newborns.
Local NGOs can collaborate with Ketto to support BPL pregnant women and neonates. Fundraising campaigns could provide essential supplies such as baby clothing, diapers, formula milk, and other necessities for newborns belonging to BPL families.
It’s important to note that the success of these campaigns would depend on several factors, including the reach of the crowdfunding platform, the compelling nature of the campaign stories, effective use of social media and networking, and Ketto’s customer care is available 24/7 to help their users with all of these.
The Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram is a commendable initiative in India’s ongoing efforts to enhance maternal and child healthcare. The program has proven to be a critical step toward achieving the country’s healthcare goals by addressing the financial barriers that often deter women from seeking medical care. Through free and cashless services, the JSSK has saved lives and empowered women and families to make informed choices about their healthcare.
The Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram‘s comprehensive approach, encompassing free delivery services, cash assistance, diagnostics, and healthcare services, has profoundly impacted maternal and child healthcare in India. By addressing financial barriers and promoting timely access to quality healthcare, the program continues to contribute significantly to reducing maternal and infant mortality rates and improving the overall health status of mothers and newborns. As the program continues to evolve and expand, it remains a beacon of hope for better mother and child health outcomes in India.
Join hands with Ketto to make a difference in the lives of expecting mothers and newborns from underprivileged backgrounds. Create a crowdfunding campaign today to ensure access to quality maternity and neonatal care for those most need it.