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India's Maternal Mortality Ratio Drops; Healthcare Initiatives A Boon

According to a special bulletin released by the Registrar General of India, the maternal mortality ratio has decreased from 130 per lakh live births in 2014-16 to 97 per lakh live births in 2018-20. In response to the improvement, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya attributed it to the government's various health initiatives that ensure quality maternal and reproductive care [1].

What Is The Maternal Mortality Ratio?

A maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is defined as the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births during a specified period. The risk of maternal death is portrayed relative to the number of live births and captures the risk of a single pregnancy or a single live birth.

In essence, maternal deaths can be described as the number of female deaths resulting from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management (excluding accidental or incidental causes) during pregnancy and childbirth or within 42 days after the termination of pregnancy, regardless of the duration and location of the pregnancy, expressed per 100,000 live births for a specified period of time [2].

Maternal Mortality Ratio In India

According to Mandaviya, Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) data from the Office of the Registrar General of India (ORGI) shows a decline since 2014 [3].

Point 1: The ORGI, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, publishes estimates on fertility and mortality using the Sample Registration System (SRS), a large-scale demographic survey for providing reliable annual estimates of infant mortality rates, birth rates, death rates and other fertility and mortality indicators at the national and sub-national levels.

Point 2: The Ministry of Home Affairs published a 'Special Bulletin on Maternal Mortality in India 2018-20' on November 28. During the period 2018-20, India's MMR decreased to 97 from 103 in 2017-19, according to the latest data. During the period 2015-17, the MMR for India was 122, while the MMR for 2014-16 was 130.

Point 3: As compared to previous data, some states have recorded lower MMRs in recent years. The lowest MMRs were recorded in Andhra Pradesh (45), Telangana (43) Karnataka (69), Kerala (19) and Tamil Nadu (54) in the southern states.

Point 4: During the period of 2017-19, the MMR in Uttar Pradesh was 167; in Madhya Pradesh, it rose to 173, compared to 163 in the previous period. The MMR in Haryana was 110 as compared to 96 previously.

On A Final Note...

Despite a countrywide improvement, the situation remains poor in some states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Assam. In all three states, MMRs were recorded above 150, which is significantly higher than the United States Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target.

Story first published: Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 12:28 [IST]
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