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Unintended effects of Janani Suraksha Yojana on maternal care in India
Authors: Soumendu Sen, Sayantani Chatterjee, Pijush Kanti Khan, and Sanjay K. Mohanty
Source: SSM: Population Health, 11: 100619; DOI: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2020.100619
Topic(s): Antenatal care
Delivery care
Institutional births
Maternal health
Country: Asia
Published: AUG 2020
Abstract: Background: The Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) is the largest ever conditional cash transfer programme worldwide. It primarily aimed to reduce the maternal and child mortality by increasing the facility based delivery in India. Besides, the JSY has resulted in reduction of out-of-pocket expenditure for delivery care and increased antenatal care. Though studies have examined the direct outcome of JSY, limited studies have attempted to understand the unintended effects (indirect) of the programme. The aim of this study is to examine the effect of JSY on contraceptive use, initiation of breast feeding and postnatal check-up in India. Data & Methods: Data from the National Family Health Survey 4, 2015–16 was used in the analyses. A total of 148,746 institutional births in five years preceding the survey were analysed and the analyses were carried out for Low Performing States (LPS) and High Performing States (HPS). Descriptive statistics and the propensity score matching were used to understand the unintended effects of JSY. Results: In India, the use of contraception, early initiation of breastfeeding and postnatal check up was consistently higher among JSY beneficiaries compared to non-JSY beneficiaries. Among JSY beneficiaries, about 45% of the mothers breastfed their child within one hour compared to 42% of the JSY non-beneficiaries. The pattern was almost similar for postnatal check-up. The variations in contraceptive use, breastfeeding practice and postnatal check-up among JSY beneficiaries were higher in LPS states compared to HPS. For instance, in LPS, among JSY beneficiaries, about 58% mothers breastfed their child within one hour of delivery compared to 46% in HPS. Controlling for socio-economic covariates, the JSY beneficiaries in LPS were 12% more likely to use contraception, 8% were more likely to initiate the breast feeding within one hour of child delivery and 6% were more likely to get their postnatal check-up than their counterparts in HPS. Discussion: The unintended effects of JSY were strong and significant in the low performing states. The coverage of JSY should be further extended and the programme needs to be continued.