Declining Maternal Mortality Ratio in India
- 09 Nov 2019
- 3 min read
Why in News
India’s MMR has declined from 130 per 1 lakh live births in 2014-2016 to 122 per 1 lakh live births in 2015-2017 as per the recently released Sample Registration System (SRS) 2015-2017 bulletin for MMR. A decline of 8 points (6.2%) has been observed.
- This indicates that a loss of 2000 maternal deaths per year has been prevented.
- The bulletin categorizes the country into three groups: Empowered Action Group (EAG), Southern States and other states.
Maternal Mortality Ratio
- MMR is the annual number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
- Maternal death is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy.
- It is a key performance indicator for efforts to improve the health and safety of mothers before, during, and after childbirth.
- Kerala secures the first position in MMR reduction (from 46 to 42), followed by Maharashtra (from 61 to 55) and Tamil Nadu (from 66 to 63).
- Karnataka has shown the highest percentage decline in MMR.
- The decline has been most significant in EAG States from 188 to 175. Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, UP, Uttarakhand and Assam fall under EAG States group.
- The independent MMR data of Jharkhand (76), Chhattisgarh (141) and Uttarakhand (89) has been released for the first time in the SRS 2015-2017 bulletin.
- Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have shown an increase by 15 points each in MMR.
- So far, 11 states have achieved the National Health Policy target of MMR well ahead of 2020. The National Health Policy aims to reduce Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) to 1/1000 live births.
Reasons for Declining MMR
- Focus on quality and coverage of health services through public health initiatives have contributed majorly to the decline. Some of these initiatives are:
- The implementation of the Aspirational District Programme and inter-sectoral action has helped to reach the most marginalized and vulnerable population.
- Recently launched Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan Initiative (SUMAN) especially focuses on zero preventable maternal and newborn deaths.
The continuous progress in reducing the MMR will help the country to achieve the SDG 3 target of MMR below 70 by 2030.