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India registers a steep decline in maternal mortality ratio

Why in news?

The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in India has declined to 113 in 2016­ – 18 from 122 in 2015 – ­17 and 130 in 2014-­2016, according to the special bulletin on Maternal Mortality in India 2016­ – 18, released by the Office of the Registrar General’s Sample Registration System (SRS)

Healthy trend 
The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) between 2016 and 2018 
dropped to 113 in India, almost 100 deaths lesser than in the 
2007-2009 period 
2011 13 
MMR is 
defined as the 
number of maternal 
deaths during a 
given time 
period per 
live births 
2015 17 

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.

Disparity amoung states

  • The MMR of various States according to the bulletin includes  Assam (215), Bihar (149), Madhya Pradesh (173), Chhattisgarh (159), Odisha (150), Rajasthan (164), Uttar Pradesh (197) and Uttarakhand (99).
  • The southern States registered a lower MMR Andhra Pradesh (65), Telangana (63), Karnataka (92), Kerala (43) and Tamil Nadu (60).

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:
    • LaQshya,
    • Poshan Abhiyan,
    • Janani Suraksha Yojana,
    • Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan
    • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana,
  • 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.

December 2023