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Health minister Harsh Vardhan launches SUMAN scheme for pregnant women at 13th CCCHFW in New Delhi

On October 10, 2019 the union health and family welfare minister Shri Harsh Vardhan launched Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan(SUMAN) scheme during the 13th Conference of Central Council of Health and Family Welfare(CCCHFW) in New Delhi, to provide free maternity healthcare benefits.  Website for SUMAN and grievance redressal portal was also launched during the event.SUMAN-Initiative

Key points
i. Scheme aim: The aim of this scheme is to bring down mortality in infants and maternal mortality in the country.
ii. Eligible beneficiaries: The beneficiaries eligible for the scheme are pregnant women, mothers upto 6 months after delivery, and all sick newborns.
iii. Free services: Under the scheme the beneficiaries can avail following free services. They are

  • At-least 4 ante natal (during pregnancy) check-ups which includes one checkup during the 1st trimester,
  • At least one checkup under Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA), Iron Folic Acid supplementation, Tetanus diphtheria injection.
  • Components of comprehensive ANC (Amniocentesis) package diagnostic tests during pregnancy and six home-based newborn care visits.
  • Beneficiaries can avail zero access to identification and complications management during and after pregnancy inclusive of free transport service from home to health institutions. They will have zero expense delivery and C-section(caesarean section) facility in emergency cases at public health facilities.
  • Referral services: Under this scheme, there will also be assured referral services in reaching the health facility within 1hour in case of emergency with drop back from institution to home after due discharge(48hours).

iv. Quality care definition by WHO: The World Health Organisation(WHO) defines the quality of care for mothers and newborns as “the extent to which the provided healthcare services improve patient health outcomes”.
v. Govt. data: As per the data by the government’s think tank NITI(National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, the maternal mortality rate has reduced from 254 per 1Lakh births in 2004-06 to 130 in 2014-16. The mortality rate in infants also came down by 34 per 1000 birth from the previous 66. The aim is to get it in line with the Sustainable Development Goal(SDG) of 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.

About CCHFW:
It is an advisory body under Article 263 of the Constitution to advise the Department of Health (DoH), health and family welfare ministry on formulating health policies.
The first CCHFW meeting was held in 1998.
All Central Council meetings held from the year 1988 up to 2010, were digitized by health & family welfare ministry in collaboration with the WHO Country Office for India.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare:
Founded- 1976.
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Minister of State(MoS)-Ashwini Kumar Choubey(constituency- Buxar, Bihar).
Harsh vardhan constituency- ChandniChowk, Delhi.