Software-based implementation of Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme has helped the Health Department to enumerate mothers eligible for the financial assistance and also monitor maternal and child health.

K.S.T. Suresh, Deputy Director of Health Services, Tirupattur Health Unit Division (THUD), said village health nurses were entering details of ante-natal registration, delivery of baby and child immunisation in the online software – Pregnancy Infant COHORT Monitoring and Evaluation (PICME).

“We keep track of the mother and child from tests required during the ante-natal period to place of delivery and immunisation of the child. The thrust is now on updating these entries into the population in Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme software. There is software-based implementation of the scheme,” he said.

Each Primary Health Centre has been provided with computer and Internet connection. Data entry operators have also been hired, he said.

From June 1, 2011, conditions of the scheme have been revised – the mother should be above 19 years and the first two deliveries should be in government institutions. Previously, mothers from BPL families who had their deliveries even in private hospitals were eligible for financial assistance, he noted.

“The THUD has a target of 12,624 mothers to benefit under the scheme. The total fund for the scheme is nearly Rs. 13.22 crore. Till date, we have disbursed funds to the tune of Rs. 4.27 crore to 7,492 beneficiaries,” he pointed out. The total amount of Rs. 12,000 was being given in three instalments to the mothers – a mother is eligible for receiving the first instalment of Rs. 4,000 after minimum of three check-ups at the end of seven months, the second instalment of Rs. 4,000 after the baby is delivered in a government institution and Rs. 4,000 when the baby completes immunisation up to the third dose of DPT, he explained.

Dr. Suresh said the advantage for the beneficiaries is that they need not wait until cheques are cleared as the scheme is now processed through ECS through nationalised banks.

“Earlier, the cheques were being distributed through the village health nurses. Now, there will be no delay under this system and processing is easy,” he mentioned.