The number of women who die during childbirth in India has come down considerably, said a recent Sample Registration System (SRS) bulletin on June 7, 2018. With a 22% decline, India’s Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has now come down from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016, states the report. MMR is the number of maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births.
Additionally, the report further stated that the decline has been most significant in the Empowered Action Group (EAG) states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh where the ratio came down from 246 to 188.
Applauding this achievement, Union health minister, JP Nadda tweeted:
The latest SRS figures reveal that we have gone beyond the MDG target of Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of 139 by 2015 & have reached 130!! I congratulate the Ministry, @MoHFW_India and the states for their joint efforts. pic.twitter.com/H2t0ik0Egx
Following the Millennium Summit of 2000, all the member countries of UN had adopted eight international developmental goals for the year 2015. The improvement in maternal mortality ratio was one of the eight goals. For India, the goal was to bring it down to 140 in 2015 from 560 in 1990, which it has successfully attained.
Who Performed The Best?
Among all the states in the country, Uttar Pradesh has seen the sharpest drop in MMR as from 285 it dropped to 201 deaths per one lakh live births. Along with UP, Assam also recorded a sharp dip in the MMR ratio. However, Assam still remains the state with the highest MMR ratio of 237.
Notably, Kerala continued to shine in the new assessment where the SRS recorded an MMR ratio of 46 as against 81 in 2007- 09.
On a national level, the southern states continued to perform better than the rest where the average recorded MMR is 77, which is close to the country’s Sustainable Development Goal of reducing the MMR to 70 by 2030.
What is Maternal Mortality Ratio?
Maternal mortality ratio is an important indicator of development for any nation and as the World Health Organisation puts it, maternal death is the death of a woman while she is pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy.
Complications during childbirth, postpartum bleeding and a lack of access to healthcare facilities are the major causes of death among women of reproductive age in developing countries.