Mother of all worries: 31% increase in maternal mortality rate in 4 years
The research stated that the city’s MMR went up from 143 in 2011 to 188 in 2015, much above than the target of 140 set by the United Nations for its member countries in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 2015.Updated: Apr 12, 2019 08:55 IST
The city witnessed a 31% rise in the maternal mortality rate from 2011 to 2015, revealed a study conducted by researchers from the community medicine department of King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital, Parel, and the department of family welfare, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The research stated that the city’s MMR went up from 143 in 2011 to 188 in 2015, much above than the target of 140 set by the United Nations for its member countries in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 2015.
The study, which was conducted to assess the city’s performance as the targets set for the MDG, was published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.
Researchers have attributed the rise in MMR to the increase in the number of referral cases from outside Mumbai and reporting on maternal deaths.
The shortage of Intensive Care Units (ICU) and Nutritional Rehabilitation Centres (NRC) for pregnant women, low antenatal registrations, logistical difficulties to reach hospitals in time and lack of awareness among migrant and slum population of the city, are the major causes of the statistical hike.
Dr Abhijeet More, convener of Jan Aarogya Abhiyan— a conglomerate of health activists and groups in Maharashtra – said that the community outreach programmes to focus on MMR are not increasing with the increasing migrant population in and around the city.
“Though we have witnessed an increase in Institutionalised deliveries, there are major lapses in antenatal care and post-natal care programmes, wherein high-risk pregnancies can be identified and treated in time. We have also observed that many of the peripheral hospitals and primary health care centres lack the resources to handle complications related to child birth, leading to the spike in the MMR,” he said.
The study also revealed that about 97.93% deliveries in the city was institutionalised, indicating better awareness among the masses. While 0.82% deliveries occurred at home, researchers added that in absolute numbers it means around 3,476 deliveries in 2015 did not occur in a hospitals.
The study also revealed that the major public hospitals of the city (Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, BYL Nair Hospital, KEM Hospital, Sion Hospital and RN Cooper Municipal General Hospital) registered 16% of the total deliveries. The peripheral civic hospitals consisted of 32% deliveries, while the remaining took place at private facilities.
“If we are considering the mortality rate of the indigenous cases (residents of Mumbai) alone, then it stands at 88, and thereby meets the MDG target. But if we include the referral cases (maternal deaths of non-residents) also, the situation seems alarming as it is way above the national average of 167,” said Dr Anuradha Mohapatra, author of the study.
However, the city witnessed a gradual drop in infant mortality rate for the same period. It recorded 43.5 deaths per 1,000 births in 2011 which dipped to 38.7 in 2015.
First Published: Apr 12, 2019 02:57 IST