The maternal mortality ratio in India declined from 122 in 2015-17 to 113 in 2016-18, a 7.4 per cent decline, according to a special bulletin released by the Registrar General of India, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday.
He highlighted that the country has been witnessing a progressive reduction in MMR from 167 in 2011-2013, 130 in 2014-2016, 122 in 2015-17 to 113 in 2016-18.
On India's commitment to Sustainable Development Goals SDG, Vardhan said that with this persistent decline, India is on track to achieving the SDG of 70 per lakh live births by 2030 and National Health Policy (NHP) target of 100 per live births by 2020, according to a health ministry statement.
Maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is the ratio of the number of maternal deaths during a given time period per 1,00,000 live births during the same time period.
The number of states which have achieved the SDG target has now risen from three to five. These five states are Kerala (43), Maharashtra (46) Tamil Nadu (60), Telangana (63) and Andhra Pradesh (65).
"There are 11 states that have achieved the target of MMR set by the NHP which includes the five states and Jharkhand (71), Gujarat (75), Haryana (91), Karnataka (92), West Bengal (98) and Uttarakhand (99)," the statement said.
Vardhan said that three states -- Punjab (129), Bihar (149) and Odisha (150) -- have maternal mortality ratio in between 100-150, while for five states, Chhattisgarh (159), Rajasthan (164), Madhya Pradesh (173), Uttar Pradesh (197) and Assam (215), the MMR is above 150, according to the statement.
The Union health minister congratulated the Rajasthan, which has shown the maximum decline of 22 points in MMR, Uttar Pradesh 19 points, Odisha 18, Bihar 16 points and Madhya Pradesh 15 points.
Telangana and Maharashtra have shown more than 15 per cent decline in MMR, while Odisha, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat have shown a decline between 10-15 per cent, Vardhan said, adding that Karnataka, Assam, Jharkhand, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have witnessed a decline in maternal mortality ratio between 5-10 per cent.
"This success can be attributed to the intensive endeavour of the government in achieving impressive gains in institutional deliveries as well as focusing on quality and coverage of services under NHM through various schemes such as Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram, Janani Suraksha Yojana, and newer initiatives like Laqshya and Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan," the minister was quoted as saying in the statement.
The government also envisaging rolling out the overarching SUMAN initiative including the midwifery initiative, assuring the delivery of maternal and newborn healthcare services encompassing wider access to free and quality services, zero tolerance for denial of services along with respectful maternity care, he said.