Despite expansion of private and public healthcare services in the city,the number of maternal deaths seem to be on the rise.
As per data collated by the civic bodys public health department,the number of maternal deaths have jumped 13 per cent to 239 in 2011 from 211 in 2010. The maternal mortality rate,which reflects the number of maternal deaths per 1,000 women has gone up to 1.4 in 2011 from 1.1 in 2010. This number was much lower at 0.8 in 2009.
Dr Shashank Barulekar,Professor and Head of Obstertrics & Gynaecology at KEM Hospital,said,There could be various factors for the increasing trend in maternal deaths. This number might include patients who come from outside the city for treatment. Also,pregnant women are highly prone and succumb to diseases such as TB and Hepatitis which are on the rise. Another doctor from a civic maternity home said the rising number of slums in the city was also a factor affecting maternal deaths. Lack of appropriate healthcare in the vicinity of slums and low availability of nutritious food for expectant mothers living in slums have also led to the increase in maternal mortality rates in the city.
With waterborne diseases and tuberclosis rampant in slum areas,the incidences of maternal deaths increase,said a health post official. The state governments flagship programme,Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS),which aims at providing nutrition to pregnant and lactating mothers has also been implemented without much success. The lack of space to set up more centres under the scheme has led to unavailability of basic mother and child care services in slums. According to a 2006 national health survey,nearly 97 per cent of women in Mumbai slums received no services from the scheme during pregnancy and 99.2 per cent received no services while breast-feeding.