As seen worldwide, India ranks pretty high when it comes to maternal and neonatal deaths. In this short piece, we take a look at some of the average statistics of the country.
• It is estimated that every two seconds a new child is born in India, adding to the already exploding population of the country.
• Over 300 million citizens live below the poverty line which means they do not have access to even primary health care services not just during childbirth but at other life-changing events too.
• A report by Save The Children, called State of the World’s Mothers, ranks India at the 142nd position out of a total of 176 countries. The index they used to calculate the rank included five fundamental factors:
o maternal health
o children’s well-being
o educational status
o economic and political situation of women in the country
• The MMR for India, as per data from World Bank, was 174 in 2015. MMR or Maternal Mortality rate is the number of women who die from problems connected to pregnancy. These issues could occur:
o While the female is pregnant
o After 42 days of termination of pregnancy.
The number is calculated for every 100,000 live births.
• The IMR of India was 38 in 2015. The infant mortality rate is the exact number of infant deaths before they reach one year of age. The amount is calculated per 1000 live births in any given year.
• For every female who loses her life during childbirth, there are 20 more in India who suffer from life-long illnesses. These 20 women live after giving birth but continue to have debilitating health which can lead to massive implication on the well-being of the entire family.
What is more surprising and shocking than these bleak numbers is that the majority of complications during delivery can be quickly resolved. Haemorrhage, i.e., heavy bleeding after birth and eclampsia, i.e., high blood pressure are the two leading causes of deaths. And experts believe that 70% of them can be resolved or prevented.
These statistics demonstrate that the government and private hospitals need to do more to solve these problems. Yes, we are still better off than the worst countries on the globe, but there is a lot of room for growth. With simple programs like UNICEF’s short-term training for midwives and doctors on maternal health using models and dummies, we can bring about a radical change.