Health
The rate dipped by 22% in 2014-2016 as compared to 2011-2013.

The maternal mortality rate (MMR) in India went down by 22% for the data recorded between 2014 and 2016. The rate dipped to 130 in 2014-2016, from an earlier rate of 167 between 2011-2013.

The Sample Registration System (SRS) data was released by released by the office of the Registrar General of India on Wednesday.

The World Health Organization defines maternal mortality rate as the “death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.”

Maternal mortality rate has been an issue plaguing India for a number of years now. Doctors attribute the high rates of MMR to a number of factors including the lack of institutional deliveries in many parts of the country.

Tamil Nadu has seen a drastic drop in MMR, going from 79 in 2011-2013 to 66 in the current report. The ‘Empowered Action Group’ of states (Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand) and Assam have shown drastic improvements, with numbers reducing to 188 from 246.

Kerala, which has always had a well-implemented public healthcare system, has an MMR rate of 46, the best in the country. This is followed by Maharashtra at 61 and Tamil Nadu at 66.

MMR is a globally used parameter to determine social and economic developments of a nation.

Dr Ajay Khera, the deputy commissioner of child health at the Health Ministry told the Hindustan Times that the reason behind the drop in MMR is an increase in the number of institutionalised deliveries.

Some parts of the country have underdeveloped healthcare sectors, which make it difficult for women living in these areas to access proper facilities during the time of pregnancy and delivery. The decline in maternal mortality rate is indicative of improving public healthcare measures around the country.