Decline in Maternal Mortality Ratio in 2018-20

The Registrar General of India released a special bulletin on Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR). It revealed that India achieved a significant milestone by reaching the National health policy (NHP) target for MMR.

What is MMR?

The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is the number of maternal deaths during a specific time period per 100,000 live births during the same period. It is a tool used to indicate the risk of maternal death relative to the number of live births, capturing the risk of death in a single pregnancy or a single live birth.

India’s MMR in 2018-20

  • India’s MMR fell from 130 per 100,000 live births in 2014-16 to 97 per lakh live births in 2018-20.
  • In 2014-2016, the MMR was 130, it was 122 in 2015-17, 113 in 2016-18, 103 in 2017-18 and 97 in 2018-20.
  • With the 2018-20 MMR, India achieved the National Health Policy (NHP) target for MMR of less than 100 per 100,000 live births.
  • It is currently on track to achieve the SDG Target 3.1, which aims to reduce global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 1 lakh live births.
  • Assam currently has the highest MMR of 195, followed by Madhya Pradesh with an MMR of 173 and Uttar Pradesh with MMR of 167 per 1 lakh live births.
  • Other states with high MMR are Chhattisgarh (137), Odisha (119), Bihar (118), Rajasthan (113), Haryana (110), Punjab (105) and West Bengal (105). Many of these states belong to the Empowered Action Group (EAG) – a group of socio-economically poor regions.
  • Kerala had the lowest MMR of 19 per 100,000 live births. It is followed by Maharashtra (33) and Telangana (43), Andhra Pradesh (45) and Gujarat (57).

Other data of the bulletin

The bulletin also included statistics on maternal mortality rate and lifetime risk. The maternal mortality rate is the maternal deaths of women aging 15 to 49 years per 1 lakh women in the same age group. The lifetime risk is defined as “the probability that at least one woman of reproductive age (15-49 years) dying because of childbirth or puerperium (postpartum period), assuming that chance of death is uniformly distributed across the entire reproductive span.”

India’s maternal mortality rate is 6. Kerala is the only state to achieve maternal mortality rate of less than 1 at 0.9. The worst performing states are Madhya Pradesh (15.3), Uttar Pradesh (14.3), Assam (12.1), Bihar (11) and Chhattisgarh (9.9).

At the national level, the lifetime risk of maternal mortality is 0.21 per cent. Madhya Pradesh led the way among the states at 0.53 per cent. It was followed by Uttar Pradesh (0.50 per cent), Assam (0.42 per cent), Bihar (0.39 per cent) and Chhattisgarh (0.35 per cent).



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