Even after 70 years of remarkable progress, India accounts for the maximum number of maternal deaths in the world. Since 1990, the difference between the countries with the highest and lowest level of maternal mortality has just doubled.
As per 2016, Lancet Maternal Health Series, it is mandatory to improve the quality of care and turn down the disparities in access to health care services. The study focuses on the causes, trends and possibilities of maternal health in the era of tremendous demographic and socio-economic transition.
Besides just the falling birth and death rates, the inadequate supply for contraception continues to drive population growth, puts stress on already unstable health infrastructure.
The study also ascertained the indirect causes which result from previous existing diseases, or diseases developed during pregnancy, are becoming more prominent in low and middle-income countries. A rise in case of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and other persistent conditions adds to indirect causes that act as a catalyst in increasing maternal deaths.
As per reports, covered by DownToEarth, lifestyle and behavioural changes leading to first-time pregnancy among women in late 30s and 40s, are further complicating the situation. Women are easy victims to climate change related disasters and environmental degradations that force them to spend more time on surviving sudden changes and less on taking care of themselves. An uncontrollable spread out-of-water-borne diseases like Malaria, Zika and Ebola are putting maternal health at risk.
The Global Status as reported by DownToEarth says:
- Worldwide, 25% of babies are delivered in the absence of trained birth attendant.
- One-third of the total maternal death in 2015 happened in India.
- At least, 45,000 mothers died during pregnancy or childbirth in India last year.
- Nigeria shared the maximum burden with about 58,000 maternal deaths.
- The risk for a woman dying during pregnancy or childbirth in sub-Saharan Africa is 1 in 36 as compared with 1 in 4,900 countries in high-income countries.
- The maternal mortality rates are widening at national and international levels. In the US, the maternal mortality ratio is 14 per 1,00,000 live births.
- 216 women died of maternal causes per 100,000 live birth; in 2015.
- Worldwide, nearly 53 million women, receive no skilled assistance at birth.
- High-income countries have 51 high-quality evidence-based guidelines available for maternity care services.
- In the US, the average cost for vaginal births was more than 7 times higher than in Norway. For cesarean section, the average cost is more than four times higher.
Maternal death as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.