New Delhi: The maternal mortality rate in India has declined by 6.36 percent, which is higher than the global decline, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said on Wednesday.
In a written reply in Rajya Sabha today, the WCD Minister cited the UN Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group (MMEIG) 2020 report, saying, “The maternal mortality rate (MMR) of India has declined from 384 in 2000 to 103 in 2020, whereas the global MMR has declined from 339 in 2000 to 223 in 2020.”
“The average annual rate of reduction in global MMR during the 2000–2020 periods was 2.07%, while India’s MMR has declined by 6.36%, which is higher than the global decline,” she said.
The government has implemented several schemes and initiatives to tackle the issues related to maternal deaths and stillbirths across the country, the minister said.
Highlighting some of the initiatives, the minister said, “Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan” (PMSMA) was launched with the aim of providing fixed-day, free-of-cost, assured, comprehensive, and quality antenatal care on the 9th day of every month, universally to all pregnant women in their 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy.”
“The extended PMSMA strategy was launched to ensure quality antenatal care for pregnant women, especially high-risk pregnant women, and individual high-risk pregnancy tracking until a safe delivery is achieved by means of financial incentivization for the identified high-risk pregnant women and accompanying ASHA for an extra 3 visits over and above the PMSMA visit,” she said.
“Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN) aims to provide assured, dignified, respectful, and quality healthcare at no cost and zero tolerance for denial of services for every woman and newborn visiting the public health facility,” she said.
She further mentioned, “Outreach camps in rural areas are also provisioned for improving the reach of health care services, especially in tribal and hard-to-reach areas. This platform is used to increase awareness for maternal and child health services, community mobilization, and to track high-risk pregnancies.”
Health and wellness center team organizing camps on a periodic basis, reaching the marginalized, supporting treatment compliance, and following up on pregnant women and newborns, etc., she said, adding, “Mother and Child Protection (MCP) Card and Safe Motherhood Booklet are distributed to the pregnant women for educating them on diet, rest, danger signs of pregnancy, benefit schemes, and institutional deliveries.”