HYDERABAD: The Telangana Government’s ambitious plan to launch ‘KCR Nutritional Kits’ to pregnant women at all Government hospitals in the state received a setback when the High Court stayed their distribution even as it allowed the bidding process to continue. A petition filed before the Telangana High Court recently complained that the state Government was plotting to allot tenders for supply of items used in ‘KCR Nutritional Kit’ to one company.
LAAN e-governance and Education, which trades in health kits, filed the petition challenging the specifications mentioned in the e-tender process to supply items for KCR Nutritional Kits. The firm objected to Mother’s Horlicks Plus, which is only manufactured by Hindustan Unilever, being distributed as part of the kit. The Government appeared fully biased towards the industry leader, the petitioner said.
In reply, counsel for the TS Medical Service and Infrastructure Corporation, submitted that it never specified in the bidding process that only Mother Horlicks be supplied. There was a need for quality protein mix as the kits are to be supplied to pregnant women, the counsel said. Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy sought clarification from the Government even as it directed the continuation of the bidding process. Bids, however, are not to be finalised till the disposal of the petition.
The KCR Nutritional Kits are aimed at improving the nutritional status of pregnant women, especially those who suffer from anaemia. These will be launched in nine districts including Adilabad, Bhadradri Kothagudem, Jayashankar Bhupalpally, Jogulamba Gadwal, Kamareddy, Kumram Bheem Asifabad, Mulugu, Nagarkurnool and Vikarabad where anaemia deficiency among pregnant women is prevalent on a large scale.
A total of 1.5 lakh pregnant women will directly benefit from the special KCR Nutritional Kits in these districts. Each nutritional kit will cost Rs 2,000 and will be provided to pregnant women twice during the regular anti-natal checkups in Government hospitals. The kit will contain two kilograms of nutritional mix powder, one kilogram of dates, three bottles of iron syrups and 500 grams of ghee. The kits will be supplied in third and sixth months of pregnancy.
“The nutritional kits will be loaded with proteins, minerals and vitamins, which will go a long way in reducing anaemia and improve the percentage of hemoglobin among pregnant women in the nine districts,” Health Minister T Harish Rao had said recently.
Since their launch in June, 2017- 18, so far 13.30 lakh KCR Kits have been distributed and Rs.1,200 crore has been released to pregnant women as part of financial incentive scheme, the minister said.
“Thanks to KCR Kits, in the last few years, deliveries in Government hospitals have increased from 30 per cent to 66.8 per cent. Apart from this, in the last one-year, due to our consistent efforts, we have been able to reduce C-sections in Government hospitals from 62 per cent in August, 2021 to 56 per cent this August,” Rao said.
The minister earlier inaugurated the Project Management Unit at Telangana State Medical Services Infrastructure Development Corporation. The unit will facilitate implementation of the new equipment management policy of the Government which aimed to enter into annual maintenance contract with private companies for repair of equipment in Government hospitals.