Maternal Mortality Rate goes up in Kerala


Rajesh Raveendran

illustration: Mathrubhumi Archives

Alappuzha: The National Health Mission has expressed concern over the increase in Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in Kerala. As per the reports of NHM, out of 1 lakh deliveries, 66 maternal deaths are reported in the state. Interestingly, Maternal Mortality Rate has gone up in Kerala two years after the state was declared having the lowest Maternal Mortality Rate. NHM released the reports based on the statistics from April to November 2021.

In 2019, Maternal Mortality Rate in Kerala was recorded at 46 as per the data released by the union ministry of health and family welfare. Though Kerala aimed to bring down the rate to 30, the MMR touched 66 in 2021. During some phases, Kerala recorded an MMR of 77 this year. It is assumed that the COVID outbreak resulted in the highest Maternal Mortality Rate in the state. Pregnant women were advised to take extreme caution amid the COVID period.

In 2021, 162 maternal deaths were reported from April to November in Kerala. Malappuram recorded the highest number of maternal deaths with 32 women succumbing to delivery-related complications. With one maternal death, Wayanad recorded the lowest number of maternal deaths. Meanwhile, the highest Maternal Mortality Rate was recorded in Alappuzha. Out of 1 lakh deliveries, 161 maternal deaths were reported in Alappuzha. With the lowest maternal deaths, Wayanad recorded an MMR of 14.

The United Nations Organisation directed India to bring down the Maternal Mortality Rate to 70 by 2030. Earlier, Kerala made headlines by achieving this target. The central and state governments have been executing numerous projects for mother and child welfare. ASHA workers are also assigned to take pregnant women to hospitals. Even after these efforts, maternal deaths are increasing at an alarming rate.

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