The country’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR) witnessed a decline by 6 points at 97 per lakh live births in 2018-2020, from 130 in 2014-16, the union minister of health and family welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya said on Wednesday. 

In a tweet, Mandaviya said, “Significant Decline in the Maternal Mortality Ratio from 130 in 2014-16 to 97 per lakh live births in 2018-20. The various healthcare initiatives of PM @NarendraModi Ji’s Govt to ensure quality maternal and reproductive care helped tremendously in bringing down MMR.”

The world health organisation (WHO) has defined the maternal mortality ratio as the number of maternal deaths during a given time period per 100,000 live births. The maternal mortality ratio depicts the risk of maternal death relative to the number of live births and captures the risk of death in a single pregnancy or a single live birth. 

Meanwhile, maternal mortality is the annual number of female deaths during pregnancy and childbirth or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy. 

As per the special bulletin on maternal mortality ratio, which was released by the registrar general of India (RGI), the country’s maternal mortality ratio has improved by 6 points and now stands at 97 per lakh live births. Meanwhile, according to the statistics derived from sample registration system (SRS), the country has witnessed a progressive reduction in maternal mortality rate from 130 in 2014 to 2016, 122 in 2015 to 2017, 113 in 2016 to 2018, 103 in 2017 to 2019 and to 97 in 2018 to 2020. 

“Upon achieving this, India has accomplished the National Health Policy (NHP) target for MMR of less than 100/lakh live births and is on the right track to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDG) target of MMR less than 70/ lakh live births by 2030,” the ministry of health said in a statement. 

The WHO has called for a reduction in the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 1,00,000 by 2030 and that no country should have a maternal mortality ratio greater than 140 per 1,00,000 under the sustainable development goal targets. 

In India, eight states have achieved WHO’s SDG target. Kerala has been ranked at the top having a maternal mortality ratio of 19, followed by Maharashtra which has a maternal mortality ratio of 33. Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh has been ranked third and fourth, having maternal mortality ratios at 43 and 45, respectively. Meanwhile, the maternal mortality ratio for Tamil Nadu stands at 54, whereas Jharkhand has a maternal mortality ratio of 56. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s homestate Gujarat has a maternal mortality rate of 57, and the maternal mortality rate for Karnataka stands at 69. 

“India’s outstanding efforts in successfully lowering the MMR ratio provides an optimistic outlook on attaining SDG target of MMR less than 70 much before the stipulated time of 2030 and becoming known as a nation that provides respectful maternal care,” the government said. 

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