New Delhi: Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has seen a gradual decline in the country since 2007 but at an average 44,000 women still die every year at the time of delivery, the government told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Health Minister J P Nadda said in a written reply that as per Sample Registration System (SRS) 2013, the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the country is 40 per 1000 live births which translates into death of an estimated 10.68 lakh children up to the age of one year annually.
Citing the report, he said that the Neonatal Mortality Rate in the country is 28/1000 live births which means that estimated 7.47 lakh newborns die within first four weeks of birth every year in the country.
"As per the SRS, Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) for the period 2011-13 is 167/10,0000 live births. This translates into an estimated 44,000 maternal deaths in the country every year," Nadda said.
As per the figures, the IMR 2013 was the highest in Assam and Madhya Pradesh each registering 54 deaths per 1000 while in Odisha it was 51 and in Uttar Pradesh it was 50.
Nadda said that India stands fifth when one compares data with Asian countries with Afghanistan at the top with 70 deaths per 1000 live births while Pakistan registers 69 deaths.
Replying to another question, Nadda said that according to the latest report of the Registrar General of India, Sample Registration System (RGI-SRS), MMR in India has shown a decline from 212 per 100,000 live births in the period 2007-09 to 178 in 2010-12 and further to 167 per 100,000 live births in the period 2011-13.
"Similarly, India has recorded a drop in fertility from 2.4 (SRS 2012) to 2.3 (SRS 2013)," he said.
He said that under the Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG 5) the target is to reduce MMR by three-quarters between 1990 and 2015.
Based on the UN Inter Agency Expert Group's MMR estimates in the publication "Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2013", the target for MMR is estimated to be 140 per 100,000 live births by the year 2015 taking a baseline of 560 per 100,000 live births in 1990.
"If the MMR declines at the same pace, India will achieve an MMR of 140 per 100,000 live births by 2015 and India will achieve the MDG target. The country is likely to achieve the target for Total Fertility Rate by the end of the twelfth plan," Nadda said.
He said that the unmet need has declined and the contraceptive prevalence rate too has gone up in the 11 high focus states.
Data showed that the modern contraceptive usage was highest in Rajasthan (62.4 percent) while it was 59.4 percent in Madhya Pradesh, 57.2 percent in Chhattissgarh and 54.3 percent in Uttarakhand as per Annual Health Survey (AHS 2012-13).
Replying to another question, Nadda said that the steps taken to accelerate the pace of reduction for MMR under the National Health Mission (NHM) were promotion of institutional deliveries through Janani Suraksha Yojana, capacity building of health care providers in basic and comprehensive obstetric care.
Other steps include operationalisation of sub-centres, primary health centres, community health centres and district hospitals for providing 24x7 basic and comprehensive obstetric care services, name-based web-enabled tracking of pregnant women to ensure antenatal, intranatal and postnatal care, mother and child protection card and others.
He said that engagement of more than 8.9 lakhs Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) to generate demand and facilitate accessing of health care services by the community has also been done.