Maternal mortality rate in India vs. Comprehensive vaccination program for women

Maternal mortality rate in India vs. Comprehensive vaccination program for women

( This article is related to the sectionIndian Constitution and Governance, Issues Related to Women, Health, Human Resources, Important Initiatives Related to Maternal Mortality Rate ’ of UPSC Civil Services Mains General Studies Paper- 2 and ‘ Maternal Mortality Ratio, Registrar General of India, World Health Organization ’ of UPSC Prelims. It also includes suggestions from the PLUTUS IAS Team. This article is related to ‘ Maternal mortality rate in India vs. Comprehensive vaccination program for women ’ of ‘ Daily Current Affairs.)


Why in the News ?


  • Recently in India, Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI) has launched a mass vaccination program for women, which aims to make adult citizens across India aware about vaccination. 
  • Since women spend 25% more time in ill health than men, the main objective of this program is to improve the quality of women’s health.
  • This vaccination program in India is an important effort to protect women from Vaccine – Preventable Diseases (VPD). 
  • Vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) are usually caused by bacteria or viruses and can be prevented with vaccines. 
  • These diseases can cause chronic illness and sometimes even death. 
  • Chickenpox, diphtheria, and poliovirus infection are prime examples of VPD.


Maternal Mortality Rate in India vs. Mass Immunization Program for Women : 

The Government of India has launched two important initiatives in the country to reduce maternal mortality in India and to increase vaccination coverage under the Comprehensive Immunization Program for Women. 

  1. Universal Immunization Program (UIP) : Under this programme, free vaccination is given for the diagnosis of 12 vaccine-preventable diseases. These include nine nationally targeted diseases such as diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, rubella, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, and meningitis and pneumonia caused by Haemophilus influenzae type B.
  2. Mission Indradhanush : Mission Indradhanush was launched in the year 2014 to vaccinate children who were left out of vaccination under UIP. Through its four phases, life-saving vaccines were administered to more than 2.53 crore children and 68 lakh pregnant women.
  3. Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI) Supports obstetrics and gynecology practitioners in India to enhance the quality and accessibility of health services in India, focusing on promoting reproductive rights and reducing maternal mortality.

Maternal mortality rate in India :


  • According to the World Health Organization, the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, due to any cause related to pregnancy or its management, is considered maternal death. The number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births is called maternal mortality rate (MMR).
  • India’s The state of Assam has the highest maternal mortality ratio (MMR) (195), while Kerala has the lowest (19) per lakh live births.  According to UNESCO, India’s MMR declined by 6.36% from 2000 to 2020, three times the rate of global decline. 
  • Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) is improving day by day in India, which is an important dimension of maternal health.


Registrar General of India :

  • The Registrar General of India works under the Ministry of Home Affairs. 
  • It presents estimates regarding fertility and mortality rates using the Sample Registration System (SRS) in addition to the implementation of population census, registration of deaths and births in the country. 
  • The SRS is the country’s largest demographic sample survey, with other indicators providing direct estimates of maternal mortality through a nationally representative sample. 
  • Verbal Autopsy (VA) tools are used on a regular basis for deaths recorded under the SRS to ascertain the mortality rate due to specific causes in the country.


Current status of maternal mortality rate in India :


  • India was close to achieving the National Health Policy (NHP) target of 100 per lakh live births by 2020 and is on track to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals of 70 per lakh live births by 2030. 
  • Many developed countries have successfully brought down maternal mortality rate (MMR) to single digits. 
  • Italy, Norway, Poland, and Belarus have a low maternal mortality rate (MMR) of only 2, while in Germany and the UK it is 7. In Canada the MMR is 10 and in the US it is 19.
  • Compared to most of India’s neighboring countries, Nepal (186), Bangladesh (173), and Pakistan (140) have high maternal mortality rates. 
  • However, China and Sri Lanka are in a better position with MMR of 18.3 and 36 respectively.


Statistics related to different states in India :


  • The number of states in India achieving the Sustainable Development Goals has now increased from five to seven. These states are: Kerala (30), Maharashtra (38), Telangana (56), Tamil Nadu (58), Andhra Pradesh (58), Jharkhand (61), and Gujarat (70).
  • Kerala has recorded the lowest maternal mortality rate, putting it ahead of the national maternal mortality rate of 103. 
  • Kerala’s maternal mortality rate has declined by 12 points. 
  • The previous SRS bulletin (2015-17) had placed the state’s maternal mortality rate at 42, which was later adjusted to 43.
  • There are 09 states in India which have achieved the maternal mortality rate target set by the National Health Policy. 
  • These states include the seven states mentioned above and Karnataka (83) and Haryana (96).
  • Uttarakhand (101), West Bengal (109), Punjab (114), Bihar (130), Odisha (136), and Rajasthan (141) have MMR between 100-150. 
  • While the maternal mortality rate of Chhattisgarh (160), Madhya Pradesh (163), Uttar Pradesh (167), and Assam (205) is above 150.


Maternal Mortality in India and Some Government Initiatives Launched by the Government of India Under the Comprehensive Immunization Program for Women : 


The Government of India has launched the following important initiatives to reduce maternal mortality in India and comprehensive immunization program for women – 

  1. Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) : This scheme under the National Health Mission provides cash assistance to encourage institutional deliveries. Its objective is to provide safe delivery services to pregnant women.
  2. Prime Minister Safe Motherhood Campaign (PMSMA) : Under this campaign, on the 9th of every month, pregnant women are provided assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care. It ensures that pregnant women receive regular and timely medical services.
  3. Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) : The scheme provides nutritional support to pregnant and lactating women. Under this, financial assistance is given to women conceiving for the first time so that they can meet their nutritional needs.
  4. Nutrition Campaign : The aim of this campaign is to improve maternal and child nutrition. Under this, women and children are provided a balanced diet and nutrition related education.
  5. Target Guidelines : The aim of this initiative is to provide high quality care to women during delivery. Under this, health workers are trained to take care of women during delivery.


Maternal mortality in India and the way forward in the mass vaccination program for women :


  • The maternal mortality rate of an area is a major index of the reproductive health of women in that area. 
  • WHO has lauded India’s efforts to reduce maternal mortality, but India still needs to pay special attention to states with high maternal mortality rates. 
  • The comprehensive vaccination program for women in India needs to be further strengthened to improve fertility rates and health outcomes and further reduce maternal mortality. 
  • Expansion of special health services and awareness campaigns is necessary in areas and states with high maternal mortality rates in India.


Source – The Hindu and PIB.



Practice Questions for Preliminary Exam :

 Q. 1. Consider the following statements regarding ‘ Mission Indradhanush ’ in India? (UPSC-2016)

  1. It is related to the program of building smart cities across the country.
  2. It is related to the New Education Policy Program of India.
  3. It is related to ISRO’s mission Chandrayaan program in India.
  4. It deals with the vaccination program of children and pregnant women in India.

Which of the above statement / statements is / are correct? 

A. Only 1 and 3.

B. Only 2 and 4.

C. Only 3. 

D. Only 4. 

Answer – D


Practice Questions for Main Exam : 


Q.1. Discuss what are the challenges in reducing maternal mortality rate in India and the way of comprehensive vaccination program for women and how can it be resolved? Present a rational opinion. ( UPSC CSE – 2018 Word Limit – 250 Marks – 15 )  


No Comments

Post A Comment