Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan, speaking on the success achieved by India on the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), said, “Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of India has declined by 9 points in one year as per the Special Bulletin on MMR released by the Registrar General of India. The ratio has declined from 122 in 2015-17 to 113 in 2016-18 (7.4 % decline).” 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, and to 113 in 2016-18.
Speaking on India’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goals, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “With this persistent decline, India is on track to achieving the SDG of 70/ lakh live births by 2030 and National Health Policy (NHP) target of 100/ live births by 2020. The number of states which have achieved the SDG target has now risen from 3 to 5 viz. Kerala (43), Maharashtra (46) Tamil Nadu (60), Telangana (63) and Andhra Pradesh (65). There are eleven (11) States that have achieved the target of MMR set by the NHP which includes the above 5 and the states of Jharkhand (71), Gujarat (75), Haryana (91), Karnataka (92), West Bengal (98) and Uttarakhand (99).”
Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that three states (Punjab (129), Bihar (149), Odisha (150)) have MMR in between 100-150, while for 5 states namely, Chhattisgarh (159), Rajasthan (164), Madhya Pradesh (173), Uttar Pradesh (197) and Assam (215), MMR is above 150.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan congratulated the states of Rajasthan (which has shown the maximum decline of 22 points), Uttar Pradesh (19 points), Odisha (18 points) Bihar (16 points) and Madhya Pradesh (15 points). He also stated that two states (Telangana and Maharashtra) have shown more than 15% decline in MMR, while 4 states namely, Odisha, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat have shown a decline between 10-15%. Seven states viz. Karnataka, Assam, Jharkhand, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar have witnessed a decline between 5-10%.
Highlighting the efforts taken by the Union and the State/UT governments, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “This success can be attributed to the intensive endeavor 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. Government of India also envisages rolling out the overarching SUMAN initiative including the midwifery initiative, assuring 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.”