By Gyanu Pangeni Kawasoti, July 24: 'Maternity Health Programme' introduced three years ago in Kawasoti has become effective in controlling maternal deaths. A total of 2,640 people have been benefitted from the maternal health service being run by the Kawasoti Municipality of East Nawalparasi. 'Maternity Health Programme' was the first scheme introduced in Kawasoti by the people’s representatives elected in the local level elections of 2017. The 'Maternal Health Programme' was launched to provide monetary incentives to the women of the municipality during their pregnancy and post-delivery. According to Pareshwor Bhurtel, Senior AHW Officer of Kawasoti Health Branch, 951 women benefited from the programme in the last fiscal year 2020/21 alone. Similarly, 773 people were benefited in the fiscal year 2019/20 and 916 in 2018/19. Bhurtel said that 1,403 women have received nutritional incentives for undergoing three antenatal checkups during their pregnancy. The municipality has been providing Rs. 500 incentive under this title, he added. He further informed that 497 women received the incentives under this title in FY 2018/19, 384 in FY 2019/20 and 522 in FY 2020/21. Last year, Rs 953,000 was spent for the programme last year. Likewise, the number of mothers receiving maternity incentives (at Kaligandaki Hospital and Dumkauli Primary Health Center) is 397. Every mother receives Rs. 1500 under this heading. According to Bhurtel, 130 mothers received the maternity incentive in FY 2018/19, 118 in FY 2019/20 and 149 in FY 2020/21. Similarly, 747 mothers have received transportation incentive. Under the scheme introduced for those who opt to deliver their baby in health facility, each mother gets Rs. 700, he added. Similarly, the number of pregnant women receiving referral facility (ambulance service) is 93. Under this scheme, the municipality pays for the ambulance expenses if delivery is not possible at the health institution affiliated to the maternal health programme. Deputy Mayor of the municipality Prem Shankar Mardaniya said that the programme was aimed at providing regular checkups to women from the time of pregnancy and at least during the childbirth. The programme had encouraged women to seek health facility during their pregnancy and child birth, said Mardaniya. Pregnant and lactating mothers from the poor families have been benefitted from this programme, he said. This has also helped them take nutritious food during their pregnancy and post-delivery.