Maternal mortality ratio Current Affairs - 2019

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State of World Population 2019

The United Nations Population Fund has released the State of World Population 2019 report.

Findings of the Report

  • India’s population grew at an average annual rate of 1.2 per cent between 2010 and 2019 to 1.36 billion. It was more than double the annual growth rate of China.
  • India’s population in 2019 stood at 1.36 billion. The population has grown from 942.2 million in 1994 and 541.5 million in 1969.
  • China’s population stood at 1.42 billion in 2019. China’s population increased from 1.23 billion in 1994 and 803.6 million in 1969.
  • China’s population grew at an average annual rate of 0.5 per cent between 2010 and 2019.
  • The total fertility rate per woman was 5.6 in 1969. It dropped to 3.7 in 1994 and 2.3 in 2019.
  • India has recorded an improvement in life expectancy at birth. The life expectancy at birth in 1969 was 47 years, growing to 60 years in 1994 and 69 years in 2019.
  • 27 per cent of India’s population was in the age bracket of 0-14 years and 10-24 years each, while 67 per cent of India’s population was in the 15-64 age bracket. Six per cent of India’s population was of the age 65 and above.
  • Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in the country dropped from 488 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1994 to 174 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015.
  • The absence of reproductive and sexual rights has major and negative repercussions on women’s education, income and safety in India, leaving them unable to shape their own futures.
  • Early marriage continues to present a major cultural obstacle to female empowerment and better reproductive rights.

The report for the first time has published data on women’s ability to make decisions over three key areas: sexual intercourse with their partner, contraception use and health care.

The Report Looking ahead to future challenges highlights the threat to women’s and girls’ reproductive rights posed by emergencies caused by conflict or climate disasters.

WHO commends India for reducing maternal mortality ratio by 77%

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has commended India’s progress in reducing maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by 77%, from 556 per 10000 live births in 1990 to 130 per 10000 live births in 2016. This progress puts India on track towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of MMR below 70 by 2030. India’s present MMR is below Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target.

Key Facts

India has made concerted push to increase access to quality maternal health services with coverage of essential maternal health services which has doubled since 2005. Proportion of institutional deliveries in public facilities has almost tripled, from 18% in 2005 to 52% in 2016 (including private facilities, institutional deliveries).

State-subsidised demand-side financing like Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) has largely closed urban-rural divide traditionally seen in institutional births. JSSK also allows all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions free transport and no-expense delivery, including caesarian section.

Government has put significant emphasis on mitigating social determinants of maternal health. Women in India are now more literate than ever, with 68% are now able to read and write. They are also entering marriage at older age, with just 27% now wedded before age of 18. These factors have enabled Indian women to better control their reproductive lives and make decisions that reflect their own interests and wants.

Moreover, Government also has put in substantive efforts to facilitate positive engagement between public and private health care providers. Public campaigns such as Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan have been introduced with great impact, allowing women access to antenatal check-ups, obstetric gynecologists and to track high-risk pregnancies.