Budget crunch deprives Rukum women of pregnancy allowance

Rukum, August 3

Women delivering their babies from state-owned health facilities have been deprived of pregnancy allowance due to budget crunch in Rukum of late.

Nyano Jhola (warm bag) was introduced by the government to reduce the rate of infant and maternal mortality caused due to infection and low temperatures across the country. The bag consists of a pair of gloves, socks, cap and diaper for an infant as well as a mother’s gown for breastfeeding.

The government had made a provision to provide the bag and Rs 1,400 each to women who deliver their babies in state-owned health facilities after certain number of check-ups and Rs 1,000 for those who visit the health facilities for delivery service without a single health check-up.

However, health facilities in Rukum have been returning the new mothers empty-handed after the budget for nyano jhola didn’t reach the district on time, said Acting Chief of District Hospital Rukum, Dr Man Bahadur KC.

Garima Oli, 23, of Garaila VDC-3 gave birth to a baby boy on July 25 and got discharged from the district hospital on July 27. Before departing for home, her mother-in-law Dil Kumari had asked for the allowance at the account department of the hospital. However, the department requested her to visit the health facility after a week reasoning that they were yet to receive budget for the same.

When Dil Kumari visited the health facility to collect her allowance the following week, the hospital staffers borrowed Rs 1,400 from one of the hospital officials and gave it to her.

According to District Health Office, Rukum, more than 60 per cent women in the district give birth in various local health facilities. There are more than 40 maternity centres in Rukum.