Karnataka's Maternal Mortality Ratio ranking up from 9th to 8th

Karnataka from ninth has jumped to eighth rank. Kerala with an MMR of 30 and Maharashtra with an MMR of 38 were ranked top two in the report.

Published: 12th March 2022 01:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th March 2022 01:44 AM   |  A+A-

Pregnant Woman

For representational purposes

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Karnataka’s Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has declined from 92 per lakh live births in 2017-18 to 83 per lakh live births in 2017-18. The MMR is a significant indicator that defines the public health of a State. It determines the progress made by States in saving the lives of pregnant women during pregnancy, childbirth and lactation.

This was announced in a special bulletin on Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in India released by the Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs.

Karnataka from ninth has jumped to eighth rank. Kerala with an MMR of 30 and Maharashtra with an MMR of 38 were ranked top two in the report.

Karnataka government in it’s recent budget announcement had decided to identify aspirational talukas and ensure concerted efforts to raise education and health quality mainly in terms of nutritional levels as well as lower status of girls, child marriage, infant, child and maternal mortality.

Among South Indian states, Telangana has emerged second after Kerala in having the best maternal mortality rates. Interestingly, Tamil Nadu which is traditionally a powerhouse in primary healthcare services has an MMR of 58.

Meanwhile, health department officials appreciated the efforts of health workers for this achievement and said they will continue to work on achieving milestones and aim to further reduce the MMR in the state.

Recently, Randeep D, Commissioner, Health and Familly Welfare told TNIE that the state health department is now focussing on non-COVID issues and reducing MMR is one of the main concerns.

"We are now aiming to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of an MMR of less than 70 by
2030," he said earlier.

Meanwhile, Dr Sylvia Karpagam, Public Health doctor says, the drop in maternal mortality ratio has to be seen in the context of some factors: mainly, "most deliveries in Karnataka are taking place in private hospitals which are known to under report. So strengthening and making mandatory reporting by private hospitals would be a first step to ensure data is accurate and reliable.”

She added that a more detailed analysis on non maternity-related deaths in women especially in the reproductive age group is required.

Also, many deliveries go on to the Caesarian section. It would be important to look at long-term complications as well as morbidity related to pregnancy and childbirth along with mortality.

Dr Sylvia and other experts feel health facilities, especially public health have not recovered fully post covid and there may be a  rise in maternal mortality over the last 2.5 years.

"Efforts have to be made to strengthen public facilities, mainly large tertiary maternity hospitals which had been arbitrarily converted to secondary covid facilities," she explained.

A senior health department official admitting that the State was facing challenges in providing maternal and child health services said efforts were being made to address the lack of availability of specialists — obstetricians, pediatricians, and anesthetists — at government hospitals in rural areas.

The official said, "MMR is high in districts such as Kalaburgi, Raichur, Gadag, Koppal, Yadgir, Bidar, Vijayapura, Ballari, Davangere, Bagalkot and Shivamogga. We are working towards creating more awareness and facilities here."


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