There has been a 28.46 per cent drop in maternal deaths in Mumbai in the last three years. It’s defined as a death while pregnant or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy from causes related to pregnancy or its management.
In Mumbai, the cases decreased from 130 in 2019 to 109 in 2020 (a reduction of 21 deaths or 16 per cent), further dipping to 93 in 2021 (fall by 16 deaths or 15 per cent), as per data revealed through a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by activist Chetan Kothari.
Gynaecologist and IVF consultant with PD Hinduja Hospital at Mahim, Dr Arti Adhe said maternal mortality earlier was associated with other health issues and most commonly nutritional deficiencies. The cause was anaemia in India and the other causes were high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus. With new-age advanced investigations, early detection and early treatment has been possible, reducing mortality.
She said, “Compulsory usage of fortified food with iron, iodine and calcium has also contributed to reducing the deficiencies. Government initiatives have contributed to a big extent, while awareness about deficiencies and the need for regular antenatal check-ups and registrations have played a key role.”
Dr Asha Dalal, the director of obstetrics and gynaecology at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital said this has been a trend for a few years, not ignoring the fact that people deferred pregnancies during the pandemic.
However, she said the reason for a marked drop is the prevention of unwanted pregnancy and a very strong contraception and MTP (medical termination of pregnancy) programme. She also said that haemorrhage during pregnancy, also a cause for maternal mortality, has been overcome to a great extent.
Dr Dalal said that most hospitals have a protocol in place to prevent haemorrhage – oxytocin to make the uterus contract and therefore reduce bleeding.
“Many advanced protocols are in place. Blood and blood products are very easily available even from the government. The ambulance 108 is available. Also, the number of institutional deliveries have gone up, with better management of medical issues like preeclampsia or heart disease,” she said.
Dr Anagha Chatrapati, consultant gynaecologist at Global Hospital Parel said that India’s maternal mortality ratio has improved to 103 in 2017-19, from 113 in 201618. Soon most of the states in India will reach the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of 70/ lakh live births by 2030, she said.
“In India, a strict notification of all maternal deaths has to be done within 24 hours of occurrence. Also a meeting is conducted with the entire chain of health care providers from diagnosis of pregnancy till death,” she said.