Kerala tops in Maternal, Child health

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Kerala tops in Maternal, Child health

  • Kerala has again emerged on top in terms of maternal and child health
  • The State has recorded the lowest Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of 30 (per one lakh live births) in the country
  • This puts Kerala way ahead of the national MMR of 103.

About findings of SRS bulletin

  • According to the latest Sample Registration System (SRS) special bulletin on maternal mortality in India (2017-19) Kerala’s MMR has dropped by 12 points.
  • It was brought out by the office of the Registrar General of India.
  • The last SRS bulletin (2015-17) had put the State’s MMR at 42 (later adjusting it to 43).

Initiatives taken by Kerala to drop MMR

  • Decade long sustained efforts at properly assessing the cause of maternal mortality in the State and taking up targeted initiatives to tackle each of these.
  • Developing the Quality Standards in Obstetric Care, in partnership with the NICE International and leading specialists in 2012-13.
  • Focussing on the management of some of the common causes of maternal deaths -postpartum haemorrhage (PPH), pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), sepsis, and amniotic fluid embolism.
  • Doing Confidential Review of Maternal Deaths by KFOG since 2004-05 which laid the foundation for all maternal health improvement initiatives.
  • It was strengthened by maternal near-miss audits in all districts to analyse the critical events which resulted in near zero maternal deaths.
  • Remaining only state to act upon the operational guidelines released by the Union Health Ministry for Maternal Near Miss Review (MNMR) in 2014.

Way forward

  • Improvement of the health system’s emergency or rapid response during obstetric emergencies, especially in secondary care hospitals, including provision of emergency transport system, could go a long way in reducing maternal deaths further in Kerala.
  • Such good practices should be adopted in whole country to reduce overall maternal mortality ratio and achieving commitment to Sustainable Development goal 3 of reducing the maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.