India's Maternal Mortality Ratio Decline and Challenges

  Nov 08, 2023

India’:Decline in Maternal Mortality Ratio

Q: How has India’s Maternal Mortality Ratio changed since 1990?

A: India’s Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has dropped significantly from 556 per lakh live births in 1990 to 97 in 2020, marking an 82.5 percent decrease.

Q: What measures contributed to the decrease in India’s MMR?

A: Government efforts such as promoting institutional births, improving emergency transportation, and focusing on healthcare quality for mothers have been pivotal. Programs like Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) encouraged institutional deliveries combined with cash assistance and post-delivery care.

Q: How does India’s MMR compare with global figures?

A: India’s MMR decrease has outpaced the global decline. In 2020, India’s MMR was reported at 97 (or 103 according to UNICEF), compared to the global MMR of 223.

Q: Has India achieved the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target for MMR?

A: Not yet. The SDG target is to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030, and India is currently above this target.

Q: How does India’s MMR compare with other South Asian countries?

A: India’s MMR is better than the average for South Asia, which stands at 138. However, countries like Bhutan, Maldives, and Sri Lanka have lower MMRs than India.

Q: What government initiatives have supported the reduction in MMR?

A: Several initiatives, including the POSHAN Abhiyaan, SUMAN, PMMVY, and LaQshya, have been instrumental, focusing on nutrition, affordable healthcare, cash benefits for mothers, and quality intrapartum and postpartum care.

Q: Are there disparities in MMR across different states in India?

A: Yes, while some states like Kerala and Maharashtra have MMRs below the SDG target, others like Assam, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh have MMRs over 150, indicating regional disparities.

Q: What are the main causes of MMR in India?

A: Key contributors include inadequate healthcare access, socio-economic challenges, early marriages, and adolescent pregnancies.
To further reduce MMR, focusing on quality of care, addressing indirect causes like anemia and non-communicable diseases, and improving abortion services is essential.



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