Background: Under the Muthulakhmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme (MRMBS), Government of Tamil Nadu provides the financial assistance to poor women above 19 years for first two pregnancies. A cash of Rs. 18,000/- is being disbursd on complete fulfillment of antenatal care guidelines. Although the infrastructure to support the scheme is in place, the utilisation of the scheme needs to be analysed to identify the gaps in the health care services.
Methods: This cross sectional study was carried out among 60 antenatal women visiting our primary health care facility in a rural area of Madurai district. A structured interview schedule was used to collect data regarding the eligibility criteria, financial assistance, pre-requisites, and the importance of institution deliveries pertaining to MRMBS scheme.
Results: While majority of the participants were not aware of the monetary incentive (58.3%), they were neither aware of the installment for the same (60%). However 73.3% of the participants aware of the limit of the number of deliveries for which the assistance is being provided. Multiparous women had a better awareness score (5.66) compared to primi (3.76) and the observed difference was statistically significant (P value < 0.005).
Conclusion: Our study has envisaged the need for increased health education by the field workers and primary health care workers so that the benefits of the scheme is reached out to all rural and tribal population.