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India strengthens its maternal death surveillance response

India aims at reducing the maternal mortality rate to 100 by 2020 from the current 167 per 100,000 live births.

health Updated: Jul 25, 2017 17:15 IST
Maternal Mortality Rate,maternal deaths in India,Maternal Death Surveillance Response
India’s Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) stands at 167 deaths per 100,000 live births.(Shutterstock)

In an attempt to bring down maternal deaths in the country, government is strengthening its maternal death surveillance programme (MDSR) and maternal near miss (MNM) review.

India’s maternal mortality rate (MMR)— the annual number of mothers dying per 100,000 live births, currently is at 167, which, even though on a decline, is way higher than the original target of 109 by 2015 that was set as per the millennium development goals.

In his budget speech this year, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley announced the government target of reducing the MMR, which is an important health indictor, to 100 by the year 2020.

Union health ministry recently organized a two-day national workshop as part of the initiative to train ground level workers according to the new MDSR guidelines.

The improved guidelines are built on the earlier released guidelines with salient features like no name, no blame policy, introduction of confidential review, review of migrant maternal deaths etc.

The emphasis is also on having in place supportive supervision checklists for simpler monitoring, disaggregation of ‘others’ category of causes of maternal deaths and use of data for planning of local action.

The processes of MDSR and MNM together help in not only tracking maternal deaths but also understanding the underlying causes of and stimulate and guide actions to prevent deaths in future.

According to WHO, nearly five women die every hour in India from complications developed during childbirth, with heavy blood loss caused by haemorrhage being a major factor.

About 45,000 mothers die due to causes related to childbirth each year that accounts for 17% of such deaths globally.

An action plan was delineated during the workshop that included identifying four medical institutes as the regional training centres for training master trainers, development of training module and involving development partners like WHO, UNICEF, etc. in various activities of implementation.

First Published: Jul 25, 2017 17:15 IST