New Delhi: India has made groundbreaking progress in reducing maternal mortality ratio (MMR), from 556 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 130 per 100000 live births in 2016. The present MMR has put India on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of an MMR below 70 per 100000 live births by 2030.
India has increased access to quality maternal health services the coverage of essential maternal health services has doubled and the proportion of institutional deliveries in public facilities have tripled since 2005. Government schemes like Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram – which allows all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions to free transport and no expense delivery, including caesarian section has largely closed the urban-rural divide traditionally seen in institutional births.
India has put significant emphasis on mitigating the social determinants of maternal health. Women today are more literate, the number of child marriages has considerably decreased. The government has over the period of time put in substantial efforts to facilitate engagement between public and private healthcare providers. Campaigns such as the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan have allowed women access to antenatal check-ups, obstetric gynaecologists and to track high-risk pregnancies exactly what is needed to make further gains and achieve the SDG targets.
World Health Organisation (WHO) commended India for its achievement, and the wide-ranging human impact. As per WHO South-East Asia’s Flagship Priority of advancing maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health the Organization will continue to provide technical and operational support as and where needed across the region to end preventable deaths due to pregnancy and childbirth and to ensure every woman has full control over her reproductive life.