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Janani Suraksha Yojana and the Maternal Mortality Rate

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Surveys indicate that the Janani Suraksha Yojana, which offers cash assistance to pregnant women opting for institutional deliveries, has increased the number of such births in hospitals. Can this increase be used as an indicator of a decrease in the maternal mortality rate? It is likely that the cash incentive may disproportionately attract pregnant women without complications to institutions, while the increased workload leads to women with complications not getting proper treatment. To evaluate the programme adequately, studies in states with a high maternal mortality rate based on a representative sample of institutions with and without emergency obstetric services are needed.

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