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India Shows 22% Reduction in Maternal Mortality Ratio Since 2013

India registered a significant decline in Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) since 2013. While the overall decline has been 22%, Uttar Pradesh has shown an impressive decline of 30% -- highest among the States.

According to the just released SRS bulletin (2016), India has shown impressive gains in reduction of maternal mortality with 22% reduction in since 2013.

Nearly one thousand fewer women now die of pregnancy related complications each month in India. Maternal Mortality Ratio of India has declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016. The decline has been most significant in EAG States and Assam from 246 to 188. Among the Southern States, the decline has been from 93 to 77 and in the Other States from 115 to 93.

Maternal mortality or number of women dying during childbirth is a crucial development indicator. As per WHO, maternal death refers to the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy.

Measured in terms of number of women dying during child birth per one lakh live births, MMR reflects on any country’s human development index.

The drop in points was highest for Uttar Pradesh and Assam with 91 points respectively when compared to 2010-12 data. The two States have also contributed immensely in bringing down the overall national figure. The MMR of UP in 2011-13 was 292 to 201 in 2014-16 and of Assam it was 328 in 2011-13 that has now come down to 237.

J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said the latest SRS figures reveal that India had gone beyond the MDG target of Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of 139 by 2015.

According to the SRS Bulletin, there were nearly 12,000 fewer maternal deaths in 2016 as compared to 2013, with total number of maternal deaths for the first time reducing to 32,000. This means that every day 30 more pregnant women are now being saved in India as compared to 2013.

Amongst the States, Uttar Pradesh with 30% decline has topped the chart in the reduction of Maternal Deaths. Three States have already met the SDG target for MMR of 70 per 100,000. These are Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, while Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are within striking distance.

The results signify that the strategic approach of the Ministry has started yielding dividends and the efforts of focusing on low performing States is paying off, especially initiatives like Mission Indradhanush and Intensified Mission Indradhanush with their focused approach are significantly turning the tide in favour of India. Other major initiatives under the umbrella of National Health Mission like augmentation of infrastructure and human resource, capacity building, and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram which provides for free transport and care for pregnant women have also contributed to the success.

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