According to the data received by the Registrar General of India, in 2007 to 2009 the maternal mortality rate in India is 212 per 100,000 live births. The country needs to reduce the maternal mortality rate to less than109 deaths by 2015 to achieve the United Nations-mandated Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Every ten minutes there is one maternal death in India as reported by the United Nations and at this rate India is unlikely to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
What is Maternal Death?
According to the World Health Organization “maternal death is defined as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of the termination of the pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and the site of pregnancy, and from any cause relayed to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.” (http://www.who.int/healthinfo)
On an average the Indian economy has displayed a growth rate of more than 7% since 1997 decreasing poverty by ten percentage points. India is considered as one of the fastest growing economies in the world with an astounding growth rate of 8.5% in the year 2010. But for many Indians this growth has made no difference at all and failed to translate into any real gains.
In 2005, an estimated 536,000 maternal deaths occurred worldwide out of which 117,000 maternal deaths occurred in India which added up to a quarter of the maternal deaths worldwide. More women die from largely preventable pregnancy related causes in India than anywhere else in the world. “The constant occurrence of maternal mortality in India exposes the government’s failure to preserve women’s reproductive rights and is a violation to a woman’s right to life. Every woman is entitled to this basic human right of surviving pregnancy and childbirth.” (www.reproductiverights.org 2008)
Most common causes for maternal mortality are anemia, severe bleeding after childbirth, infections, high