Andhra Pradesh achieves SDG target, brings down MMR to 45

Special Chief Secretary says AP successfully brought down Under-5 Mortality Rate to 27 per 1,000 live births, inching closer to SDG target.
According to the Special Chief Secretary, Andhra Pradesh stands at fourth position with MMR at 45 per 1,00,000 live births.
According to the Special Chief Secretary, Andhra Pradesh stands at fourth position with MMR at 45 per 1,00,000 live births.

VIJAYAWADA : Andhra Pradesh has successfully achieved the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of reducing Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) to below 70 per 1,00,000 live births by 2030, said Special Chief Secretary (Health) MT Krishna Babu.

Presiding over the ‘Maternal, Child Death Surveillance and Response Committee review meeting, Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM) and Indian Newborn Action Plan (INAP) Gap Analysis consultation’ on Thursday, Krishna Babu said that the State is nearing the SDG target of achieving an Under-5 Mortality Rate of 25 per 1,000 live births, with the current rate standing at 27.

According to the Special Chief Secretary, Andhra Pradesh stands at fourth position with MMR at 45 per 1,00,000 live births, whereas India’s MMR is 97.

The State has reported 362 maternal deaths with the highest being reported from Kakinada (27), Alluri Sitarama Raju (25), Anantapur (23), and Eluru (23) districts.

He attributed the maternal deaths to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, postpartum haemorrhage and sepsis. Among the reported MMR cases, 26 per cent were antenatal deaths and 74 per cent were postnatal, reinforcing the postnatal period as critical, Krishna Babu added.

Further elaborating, he said among all maternal deaths, 32 per cent of deaths occurred within 48 hrs of delivery, 43 per cent occurred within the second day to 42 days, and 26 per cent occurred in the antenatal period. “The data clearly shows the need to focus on postnatal care and quality care in home-based postnatal visits,” he stressed.

Krishna Babu said Kakinada, ASR, Anantapur, Eluru, Anakapalli, and Vizianagaram districts have reported more than the State average of maternal deaths, while Konaseema, Nellore, and Nandyal districts have reported very low maternal deaths, raising the concerns of under-reporting.

“In terms of teenage pregnancies, Kurnool, Chittoor, Nandyal, Tirupati and Eluru districts are among the highest in the State. This has a direct adverse impact on neonatal outcomes. Children born to teenage mothers are more likely to die during infancy than to mothers aged 20-29,” he stated.

On Cesarian (C-section) surgeries, the Special Chief Secretary said that the highest number of surgeries were recorded at private hospitals in erstwhile districts like Prakasam, Nellore, Kurnool, Krishna, Kadapa, and East Godavari with more than 70 per cent of total C-section deliveries in the State. Moreover, districts like Prakasam, East Godavari, Kurnool, Vizianagaram, and Srikakulam have elective C-sections in more than 70 per cent of total c-sections.

Explaining the care of newborns and child health, Krishna Babu said that Andhra Pradesh is on a transformative healthcare journey, aiming to reduce the Under-5 Mortality Rate (U5MR) in alignment with its commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 25 per 1,000 live births by 2030.

He said according to the latest SRS bulletin (2020), the U5MR in the State has decreased from 31 per 1,000 live births in 2019 to 27 per 1,000 live births in 2020. “The State has identified the burden of Early Neonatal Mortality and Neonatal Mortality, to address the challenge.

The State has adopted a multifaceted approach by strengthening antenatal care, intranatal care, and immediate postnatal care and improving newborn health facilities,” he explained.

The Special Chief Secretary went on to say that the State has bolstered neonatal care services by establishing a network of Special Newborn Care Units (SNCU) by upgrading infrastructure and increasing budget allocations for drugs and consumables in high-load SNCUs, to provide quality care, thereby reducing neonatal mortality and improving outcomes.

This development has led to a notable decrease in SNCU mortality rates, from 12.3 per cent in 2018-19 to 6.3 per cent in 2023-24, indicating a marked improvement in the quality of care for newborns, he explained.

“To further reduce the MMR and IMR, it is important to deep dive into the existing problems we are facing. The State’s focus has to be on developing strategies for improving healthcare services, monitoring high-risk pregnancies, and enhancing inter-sectoral coordination,” Krishna Babu stressed.

74% of MMR cases are postnatal, 26% antenatal

Special Chief Secretary MT Krishna Babu attributed the maternal deaths to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, postpartum haemorrhage and sepsis. Among the reported MMR cases, 26 per cent were antenatal deaths and 74 per cent were postnatal, reinforcing the postnatal period as critical, Krishna Babu added. Further elaborating, he said among all maternal deaths, 32 per cent of deaths occurred within 48 hrs of delivery, 43 per cent occurred within the second day to 42 days, and 26 per cent occurred in the antenatal period

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