Campaigners warn of damaging effect of scaling back a maternal payment scheme introduced to stem high death rates among infants and mothers

Campaigners have warned that the lives of mothers and children are at risk after an Indian government scheme that pays women to receive maternal healthcare throughout their pregnancy was amended to apply only to first-borns.

The programme was introduced in 2010 to help stem India’s high rates of infant and maternal mortality. An estimated 38 children die for every 1,000 live births, and 55,000 women die of preventable pregnancy-related causes each year.

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