Maternal deaths down to 54/lakh live births in TN

Among southern states, TN stands fourth behind Kerala, Telangana & Andhra Pradesh
Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu’s Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) dropped to 54 per one lakh live births in 2018-20 from 58 in 2017-19, according to the union health ministry’s special bulletin on MMR in India released on Tuesday. Among southern states, however, TN stands fourth.

The state health department said TN conducts a death audit for every maternal death in the state at four levels (community, hospital, collectorate, and expert panel). Postpartum Haemorrhage (PPH) and pregnancy-induced hypertension are the main causes of maternal deaths in TN.

“We have initiated procurement of suction cannula (to treat vaginal bleeding post delivery) to reduce postpartum haemorrhage. We have master trainers at district hospitals and medical college hospitals. After procurement, training will be imparted to medical officers at Primary Health Centres (PHCs),” said an official from National Health Mission.

TN is procuring digital BP apparatus wherever cases of pregnancy-induced hypertension are high. Eleven such districts have been identified. This would ensure that the BP of the expecting women, availing of Anganwadi facilities for supplementary nutrition, will be checked, the official added.

Among southern states, Kerala has the lowest MMR with 19 deaths per one lakh births, followed by Telangana at 43, and Andhra Pradesh at 45, while Karnataka stayed behind TN with an MMR of 69.
Meanwhile, Dr G R Ravindranath, General Secretary of the Doctors’ Association for Social Equality (DASE), said the government should take up initiatives to prevent maternal deaths that arise from attempts at home births by watching videos on the internet.

He added that the health department should stop conducting deliveries at PHCs since they are ill-equipped to handle complications, highlighting that shifting patients to a referral centre after complications arise is also risky. To address this issue, Ravindranath said the health department should open more Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and New Born Care Centres (CEmONC).

C-section down by 5%
Chennai: Caesarean deliveries accounted for 38% of all deliveries in TN in 2021-22, down from 43% last year, said Health Minister Ma Subramaniam at the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology on Wednesday. He said Amma Canteens will not be shut in government hospitals.

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