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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2009 Dec;107(3):271-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2009.09.008. Epub 2009 Oct 20.

Saving mothers and newborns through an innovative partnership with private sector obstetricians: Chiranjeevi scheme of Gujarat, India.

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Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedebad, India.



To document an innovative public-private partnership between the government of Gujarat, India and private obstetricians in rural areas that provides delivery care to the poor.


This is a descriptive analysis of the scheme and analysis of secondary data. We estimate the lives of mothers and newborns potentially saved because of the scheme.


More than 800 obstetricians have joined the scheme and more than 269000 poor women have delivered in private facilities in 2 years. We estimate that the percentage of institutional deliveries among poor women increased from 27% to 48% between April 2007 and September 2008. In addition, there are fewer reported maternal and newborn deaths among the beneficiaries compared with the number of deaths expected in the absence of the scheme.


This innovative program shows that, at least in some areas of India, it is possible to develop a large scale partnership with the private sector to provide skilled birth attendance and emergency obstetric care to poor women at a relatively low cost. This is one way of addressing the human resource deficit in the public sector in rural areas of low-income countries to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. We also conclude that the skilled care thus provided can reduce maternal and neonatal mortality among the poor.

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