Maternal mortality rate in the country has declined to 301 per one lakh, the Centre said on October 31 and announced incentives to encourage women to go for institutional delivery in six states, where an alarming number of mothers continue to die at child birth.
"The maternal mortality rate (MMR) has declined to 301 in 2001-03 as against 398 in 1997-98 and 327 in 1999-01," outgoing Health Secretary P K Hota told reporters here announcing the findings of a survey conducted by the Registrar General of India.
However, six states - Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa - with MMR ranging between 517 and 358 still remain a cause of concern, said Hota, who is retiring from service on October 31.
Hota also announced incentives from the Central Government to encourage pregnant women to get themselves admitted to hospitals for proper delivery in these six states.
"Expectant mothers opting for institutional delivery will be given Rs 2,000 each at the time of child birth," Hota said adding the money had to be given seven days before or seven days after the delivery.
Centre has also enhanced the incentives given to men and women opting for sterilisation.
"Rs 800 would be given to each of the men and women opting for tubectomy and vasectomy," Hota said adding that a part of the amount would go to the doctors to meet medicinal expenses for the patient.
He expressed the hope that the new schemes would lead to a further decline in MMR.