In a bid to capture the national landscape, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi government has been on a war footing by launching schemes and inaugurating projects. One such scheme is the introduction of nutrition kits to address the issue of anaemia among pregnant women.
In the National Family and Health Survey-5 last year, it was found that 53.2 per cent pregnant women are anaemic. Through these kits, the government plans to provide all the vitamins and nutrients necessary to reduce the chance of anaemia among pregnant women. The scheme was introduced recently in nine districts which are the worst affected by anaemia — Adilabad (72%), Bhadradri Kothagudem (75%), Jayashankar Bhupalpally (66%), Jogulamba Gadwal (82%), Kumrabhim (83%), Mulugu (73%), Nagar Kurnool (73%), Kamareddy (76%) and Vikarabad (79%).
The aim of the nutrition kits is to reduce anaemia and increase haemoglobin percentage by providing proteins, minerals and vitamins. These kits are given once during the second ANC check-up between 13-27 weeks and the second time during the third ANC check-up between 28-34 weeks. The government has made arrangements to distribute a total of 2.5 lakh kits at a cost of Rs 50 crore in 230 health centers across the nine districts.
The kits contain nutrition mix powder, date packets, three bottles of Iron syrup, 500 grams of ghee, Albendazole tablet, cups and a plastic basket.
The scheme is similar to another programme that was launched in 2017, right before the assembly elections in 2018. KCR kits provided all the necessary items for pregnant women and the new-born.
Under this scheme, pregnant women are provided financial assistance of Rs 12,000 in three phases. In case of a baby girl, an additional Rs 1,000 is given by the government. The KCR Kit contains baby oil, soaps useful for mother and child, mosquito net, dresses, handbag, toys for child, diapers, powder, shampoo, sarees, towel, napkins, and baby bed.
Pregnant women interested in the scheme can get themselves registered by visiting their nearest public health center. The scheme is designed to provide pregnant women nutritious food and take care of the new-born after delivery to reduce the infant mortality rate.
KCR kits worth Rs 243 crore have been distributed so far, benefiting 13,90,634 families. Financial assistance of Rs 1,261.61 crore has been deposited in the accounts through DBT.
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