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5 women in India die every hour during childbirth: WHO

The number of deaths in India during childbirth accounts for 17 per cent of such deaths globally

Child mortality, child birth, child birth deaths, India, MMR, Maternal Mortality Rate, WHO, child birth defects, birth deaths, child birth complications, child birth deaths in india, india child birth deaths, India news, health news, WHO news Nearly 45,000 mothers die due to causes related to childbirth every year in India, as per WHO.

Nearly five women die every hour in India from complications developed during childbirth, with heavy blood loss caused by haemorrhage being a major factor, WHO has said.

Nearly 45,000 mothers die due to causes related to childbirth every year in India which accounts for 17 per cent of such deaths globally, according to the global health body.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the major cause of maternal deaths is Post-Partum Haemorrhage (PPH), which is often defined as the loss of more than 500-1,000 ml of blood within the first 24 hours following childbirth.


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“Based on the World Health Statistics (WHS) 2016, the MMR (Maternal Maternity Rate) of India is 174/100,000 live births.

Even taking into consideration the WHS 2016 higher estimate of MMR of 174/100,000 live births…and a birth cohort of around 26 million per year, this works out to nearly 45,000 mothers dying due to causes related to childbirth every year in India.

“This works out to losing nearly five mothers every hour,” WHO Country Office for India told PTI.

It further said that India accounts for around 17 per cent of the burden of global maternal deaths and the biggest cause of maternal deaths is post-partum Haemorrhage (37 per cent).


WHO said that the MMR of 174/100,000 live births “slightly” differs from India’s own estimate of 167/100,000 due to the fact that the WHS, whenever possible has computed the rates using standardised categories and methods in order to enhance cross-national comparability.

“This approach may result in differences between the estimates presented and the official national statistics prepared and endorsed by WHO Member States in some cases,” WHO said.

WHO is providing technical support for revision of guidelines and scaling up of the maternal death surveillance and response system besides strengthening the quality of training for provision of skilled birth attendance at the delivery sites while also optimising nursing care in the facilities.


“Since the majority of deaths of both mothers and babies occur around the time of birth due to preventable causes, WHO is providing evidence-based guidelines and tools to improve quality and experience of care at birth… especially at health facilities and for management of complications like severe anaemia both during pregnancy and child birth,” the WHO country office in India said.

India had earlier said its MMR registered a 5.7 per cent decline and, if it continues to fall at this rate, the country will achieve its Millennium Development Goal (MDG).

Minister of State for Health Shripad Yesso Naik, in a written reply in Parliament, had recently said MMR of India has shown a decline from 212 per 1,00,000 live births in 2007-09 to 167 per 1,00,000 live births in 2011-13, as per the latest report of the Registrar General of India, Sample Registration System (RGI-SRS).

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“India’s rate of decline of MMR between 2007-09 and 2011-13 is 5.7 per cent. If the MMR declines at the same pace, India will achieve an MMR of 139 per 100,000 live births,” he had said.

First published on: 16-06-2016 at 18:34 IST
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