Knowledge, Utilization and Benefits of a Child Health Care Scheme SC29-SC34
Dr. Nutan Kamath,
Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Kasturba Medical College, Light House Hill Road,
Hampankatta, Mangaluru-575001, Karnataka, India.
Introduction: Child health plays an essential role in shaping the future of a community. For this reason, governments worldwide have made child health care a priority. Studying the trends of utilization and benefits of child health care schemes is therefore, imperative to assess its impact on the community.
Aim: This study was undertaken to assess the knowledge, utilization and benefits of a child health care scheme Bal Sanjeevani Program (BSP) in a Government District Hospital.
Materials and Methods: Hundred children belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, between 0 to 6 years of age admitted for tertiary care were divided equally into cases and controls. The children who availed the BSP were enlisted as the case, whereas those who did not avail the benefits of the BSP were enrolled as the control. The study was conducted in March and April 2016. A semi-structured questionnaire was used for data collection, after approval of the Institutional Ethics Committee. Data analysis was done using SPSS 16.0. Descriptive statistics as well as the Chi-square test were used for analysis.
Results: Of the respondents, 61(61%) had heard of the BSP, of which 11(22%) chose not to register for the scheme. Of those not availing the scheme, 39(78%) stated lack of awareness as the main reason for non-utilization. The mean expenditure of those not utilizing the scheme was 12.87 times more than that of the mean expenditure of those utilizing the scheme.
Conclusion: This program significantly alleviates the financial burden on families with children admitted in tertiary care centers. Increasing the awareness regarding the BSP and identifying eligible children at the Primary Health Care (PHC) level would enhance optimum utilization of this scheme.