Health ministry: India records drop in maternal mortality by 22% since 2013  

Nearly one thousand fewer women now die of pregnancy related complications each month in India. Union Health Minister J P Nadda attributes this milestone to joint efforts of the centre and states

tackle emergencies such as bleeding, fits, choking, burns, bleeding nose and diarrhea

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

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.

J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare thanked Prime Minister, Narendra Modi for his visionary leadership and continued support that have tremendously helped in achieving this milestone.

“The latest SRS figures reveal that we have gone beyond the MDG target of Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of 139 by 2015 and have reached 130. I congratulate the Ministry and the states for their joint efforts,” Nadda said.

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 NHM like augmentation of infrastructure and HR, Capacity Building, JSSK which provides for free transport and care for pregnant women have also contributed to the success.

Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are three states which have performed well in reducing maternal mortality rate. While Assam, Rajasthan, Uttar Prasdesh and Uttarakhand are still struggling to curb infant mortality

Dr Shipa Naik, a gynaecologist at Pune’s Sasoon Hospital said, “It’s a good sign that the maternal mortality ratio has seen a decline in India. If proper steps and measures are taken, we can further reduce the maternal mortality ratio in the country. For this, the doctors and the expectant mothers both should take care. First and foremost, diagnosis of the diseases like anaemia and septic is very important.”