UNICEF’s India representative Yasmin Ali Haque has commended India’s ‘impressive progress’ in reducing maternal deaths. A recent sample registration system (SRS) data, released by Registrar General of India showed a 22 percent decline in country’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR) since 2013. The MMR declined to 130 in 2014-16 from 167 in 2011-13.
“India has shown impressive progress in reducing maternal deaths, with nearly 1000 fewer women now dying of pregnancy related complications each month in India as compared to 2013,” Haque said. She further added, “What is even more heartening to see is that the state of Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for the highest share of home deliveries in the country has led the charts with a near 30 per cent reduction, which is even higher than the national average of 22 percent.”
She, however, noted that even one maternal death is too many and that it is everyone’s shared responsibility to end preventable maternal and newborn deaths. “Ensuring every woman delivers with a safe pair of hands and even a pregnant women living in the remotest and the poorest household of the country gets timely access to quality care during and before birth is going to be the key. The time for all of us to act is now,” she added.