NEW DELHI: A total of 556 mothers lost their lives while giving birth in the year 2021 in the national capital. Officials noted that the number of fatalities have been stagnant for the last few years – meaning the figures had not lessened or rose.
Officials said that during the last two years when Covid was rampant, several mothers also lost their lives due to the virus and other complications – which also include the lack of nutrition.
According to an official working with the health authorities, “As far as I can remember, when we started the review of maternal deaths 6-7 years ago, the number of deaths which were being recorded per year was less than 400. Now it has increased and in the last two years, Covid was majorly responsible in various ways.”
The numbers also include migrant workers and women from neighbouring states who come to the capital because of the poor infrastructure there.“Women are mostly affected by hemorrhage and hypertension during the delivery and these are the two prominent causes,” said the official.
According to Dr Suman Lal, senior gynecologist working with Max Hospital, pregnant women suffered during Covid pandemic induced lockdown as many women could not get obstetric care and consult a doctor during lockdowns and stayed home without getting the right kind of nutrition.
“Due to the lockdown women could not go for deliveries, and gave birth at homes and that was also one of the leading reasons behind the number of fatalities. Many pregnant women were also affected with Covid,” she said. According to health officials, women did not take iron pills and a number of pregnant women suffered from anemia which is also an important reason behind maternal mortality.
While the rate of Caesarean section deliveries has increased, officials add that in recent years a condition called Morbidly Adherent Placenta (MAP) has been seen in women who have become pregnant and have had Caesarean section deliveries previously. “In the last decade, it has become one of the major contributors to mortality,” the official said.
The Central government on Monday announced that the Maternal Maternity Ratio (MMR) of India has declined by 10 points, with Kerala, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh recording sharpest decline. However, the rise in MMR in West Bengal, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh have emerged as a cause of concern, with the government saying that these states need to review their efforts.