One woman dies every 7 minutes in the country due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, the government today admitted in the Rajya Sabha. In a written reply, Minister of State for Health Panabaka Lakshmi said estimates of the Registrar General of India has revealed that the maternal mortality ratio for India is 301 per 10,000 live births which translates into 77,000 per year or one woman dying every seven minutes. Both Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal have a maximum MMR of 517, followed by Assam 490, Rajasthan 445, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh 379, Bihar and Jharkhand have MMR of 371 and Orissa 358, she said. The reasons for such high level of maternal mortality in the country was hemorrhage (38 percent), sepsis 11 percent, abortion 8 percent, obstructed labour 5 percent, hypertensive disorders 5 percent and others 34 percent, she added. The centre has launched the National Rural Health Mission to increase the access of quality health care including services of safe motherhood in rural areas.
Under NRHM and RCH phase II, one of the goals was to achieve a reduction in MMR to 100 per 100,000 live births, she said. Services are being strengthened through Janani Suraksha Yojna which promotes institutional delivery for reducing MMR and infant mortality rate by providing quality maternal care during pregnancy, delivery period with appropriate referral transport system along with cash assistance to pregnant women with special focus on BPL women and SC/ST population. Moreover, ASHAs are being appointed and a number of other steps being taken to reduce maternal mortality, she added.