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  • Health
    Poor access to institutional delivery causes high MMR in India

    New Delhi (PTI): As the world observes Safe Motherhood Week, India paints a grim picture of mother care in view of high rate of maternal mortality and poor access of women to institutional delivery.

    According to the State of World's Children Report 2009 by UNICEF, poor rate of institutional delivery and lack of availability of skilled attendance is responsible for high rate of maternal mortality in India.

    Only 39 per cent of women go for institutional delivery in India, while 47 per cent of the women get skilled attendants during delivery, the report said.

    The poor access to institutional delivery and skilled attendants cause death of about 78,000 women in the country every year, the report said. They die due to excessive bleeding during delivery.

    At least one in 70 women face risk of life during delivery.

    The findings of the report assumes significance in view of the Safe Motherhood Week being observed across the globe from tomorrow.

    The situation in Bangladesh and Pakistan was worse.

    About 39 per cent of women in Pakistan get skilled attendants while in Bangladesh, the rate of such women is 18 per cent.

    The rate of institutional delivery in Pakistan and Bangladesh is 34 per cent and 15 per cent respectively, the report said. In Britain, about 99 per cent women get skilled attendants during delivery.

    The report has given importance to providing essential services for mothers, newborns and children in a timely fashion at the critical points in the life cycle of mothers and children.

    Essential services, including enhanced nutrition and, safe water and sanitation facility, should be provided to women. A supportive environment for maternal and newborn health is critical, the report said.

    Besides the poor healthcare facilities, gender discrimination has a direct negative impact on maternal health as it denies girls and women access to education.

    Child marriage is a major problem in India. About 40 per cent of world's child marriage take place in India, the report said.

    Visit Healthwatch: The Hindu's wellness blog



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