India records progress in maternal deaths, lowest in Kerala, highest in MP & UP; 8 states meet SDGs

For representational purpose.

  • The country’s MMR declined to 97 during the period 2018-2020 from 113 during 2016- 18 and 130 during 2014-16
  • Assam recorded an MMR of 195 in 2018-20. Madhya Pradesh was second after Assam with an MMR of 173, followed by UP (167).
  • Karnataka has just made the cut with a MMR of 69 as against Andhra Pradesh (45), Telangana (43), Kerala (19) and Tamil Nadu (54)

India’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR) dropped below 100 for the first time with eight states, four southern states, meeting UN Sustainable Development Goal target as a mark of improved health outcomes for the developing world.

Precisely, the country’s MMR declined to 97 during the period 2018-2020 from 113 during 2016- 18 and 130 during 2014-16, according to a special bulletin on maternal mortality released on Tuesday by the Registrar General of India, a Union home ministry department.

The MMR – death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy – is a measure of the reproductive health of women and is considered as a key health indicator because many women in the reproductive age die due to pregnancy-related complications..

Southern state fare well

Karnataka has just made the cut with a MMR of 69 as against Andhra Pradesh (45), Telangana (43), Kerala (19) and Tamil Nadu (54). Other performing states are Jharkhand (54), Gujarat (57) and Maharashtra (33), said Registrar General of India (RGI) report released on Tuesday.

Assam had the highest MMR in 2018-20. The northeastern state recorded an MMR of 195 in 2018-20. Madhya Pradesh was second after Assam with an MMR of 173, followed by UP (167).

“Southern states are doing especially well. If we reduce disparities between states, we can reach the SDG target of 70 before 2030,” said K Srinath Reddy, former president of Public Health Foundation of India.

Raja, Odisha & T’gana record highest MMR point decline

Notably, Rajasthan has fared well in preventing deaths. In Centre’s two successive reports on maternal mortality ratio (MMR), Rajasthan has reported highest decline of 28 points in MMR in the country. The MMR in the state, which was 141 maternal deaths per 1 lakh live births in 2017-19, has reduced to 113 deaths per 1 lakh live births in 2018-20. Odisha came second, reporting 49 points decline in maternal deaths during a two-year period. The MMR in the state has declined from 168 per one lakh live births in 2015-17 to 119 in 2018-20. In this regard, Telangana has also done significantly well. The MMR in the state has dropped to 43 points from 56 points in 2017-19 — reducing by 13 points.

India signatory to the SDGs

India is signatory to the UN’s SDGs, which adopted a global MMR target of fewer than 70 death per 100,000 live births by 2030.

The findings in the special bulletin come from the Registrar General of India’s Sample Registration System, a nationwide demographic survey designed to provide reliable estimates for different health indicators, including maternal mortality.

Notably, India’s MMR was over 400 in the early 1990s but declined to 398 in 1997 – nowhere close to the sub-100 target that was to be achieved by 2000, reported Deccan Herald. But with interventions designed under India’s first national health mission the MMR’s downward trajectory continued.

The sample size was a population of over eight million in urban and rural areas. The 25 per cent decline in maternal mortality from 130 in 2014-16 to 97 in 2018-20 is part of a 70 per cent fall from 398 in 1997-98 to 99 in 2019-2020, estimated last year by researchers in India and Canada who had used SRS and other data, according to The Telegraph report.



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