The number of women who die during or soon after childbirth in India has come down sharply, according to data released earlier this month.
The Sample Registration System (SRS) report showed that Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) is down from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016. MMR is defined as the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
Even though this decline is commendable, the numbers in northern states still lag significantly. The southern states are performing better than the rest of the country on MMR, which provides a measure of the quality of safe deliveries and maternal care.
Maternal and child health are parameters which reflect a country and its economy’s progress.
(Note: Infant Mortality Rate is number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births. Postnatal care is recorded as consultation with any health professional within 2 days of delivery.)
Southern states are ahead with a decline from 93 to 77, close to the country’s target of 70 by 2030, under the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have already achieved the target of 70, while Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are within striking distance. Even though the decline has been most significant in the “empowered action group (EAG)“ states, from 246 to 188, it’s a long way from the target.
These are states where economic and development indicators are a particular concern, like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
According to a World Health Organization report, recent evidence indicates that a higher frequency of antenatal meetings by women and adolescent girls with a health provider is associated with a reduced likelihood of stillbirths.
This is because of the increased opportunities to detect and manage potential complications. Eight or more contacts for antenatal care can reduce perinatal deaths by up to 8 per 1000 births when compared to 4 visits.
(With inputs from PTI.)
(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)
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