The Maharashtra government Tuesday started distributing baby-care kits to the children born in primary health centers and government hospitals, as part of its efforts to reduce the infant mortality rate. The scheme is applicable only for the first child and will benefit around four lakh women across the state, Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde said here after launching the scheme. “The baby-care kits will be given to the women, who are admitted to a state-run hospital, after their first delivery. The government has allocated Rs 20 crore for the scheme. But in case more money is required, we will get more funds,” she said.
“The government-run hospitals and primary health centers in the state report around 10 lakh deliveries every year, of which around four lakh are first-time deliveries (first-time mothers). All these four lakh women will get the baby-care kits,” she said. Each kit contains a blanket, a small mattress, a towel, a thermometer, baby oil, shampoo, toys, nail-cutter, gloves, socks, among other things. The cost of the kit is around Rs 2000, the minister added. Similar scheme is going on in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu and it has shown some success in terms of bringing down the infant mortality, Munde said. – Business Standard