The scheme, launched on November 15, 2014, offers free drop-back facility to promote institutional deliveries and for reducing the infant mortality and maternal mortality rate. The scheme, which can be availed by dialing 102, has resulted in a phenomenal increase in the rate of institutional deliveries with over 80 percent deliveries being done in health institutions, an official statement said.

Efforts are being made to motivate 100 percent women for institutional deliveries in hospitals. Earlier, most of the women and their families in Himachal would prefer to deliver their children at home to avoid hospital expenditure.

It sometimes put the lives of mother and child at stake. Himachal Pradesh is among the few states that have launched the scheme under Janani Shishu Surksha Karyakram, an initiative of the union ministry of health and family welfare. The project is jointly funded by the National Rural Health Mission and the state government.

Himachal is providing the facility through 125 ambulances by providing free drop facility the women soon after 48 hours of delivery. The facility is also being extended to pregnant women and infants admitted to any hospital.

The state spent Rs.6.15 crore on purchase of the ambulances. It hired the GVK-EMRI (Emergency Management Research Institute), a Hyderabad-based company, to run the ambulance service. The government is spending Rs.41,000 per ambulance per month.

Earlier, the state launched free ambulance service, which can be availed by dialling phone number 108. The ambulances, also run by the GVK-EMRI (Emergency Management Research Institute), helped in over 95,000 pregnancy-related cases and 27,000 trauma cases.

It was launched on December 25, 2010.Of the total emergency calls attended, 88 percent were from rural areas, according to the government statistics.


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