Over the last five years, maternal deaths have declined by around 30% in Mumbai. Though this is good news, Mumbai still remains worse than most parts of India when it comes to maternal mortality. In 2017, deaths due to childbirth and pregnancy fell by around 8 percent in 2018. Tuberculosis and Sepsis are emerging as the leading cause of deaths.

The Maharashtra state average for maternal mortality is 61 and India’s national average for maternal mortality is 130. Mumbai’s maternal mortality rate now stands at 144, which is really high as compared to the state and national average.

According to Times of India, data released by BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation), around 1.5 lakh pregnancies were registered in the city in 2018 and 218 women died during pregnancy or six weeks after it. The Maharashtra state average for maternal mortality is 61 and India’s national average for maternal mortality is 130. Mumbai’s maternal mortality rate now stands at 144, which is really high as compared to the state and national average.

Rising Maternal Deaths Since 2010

As reported in 2015, there was 40% rise in maternal deaths in Mumbai since 2010. This was majorly because of Tuberculosis, an infectious disease which is curable. In the period 2014-15, 319 maternal deaths were reported across the hospitals in the city as against 222 deaths in 2010. Earlier, the main reasons for maternal deaths were pre partum and post partum haemorrhage or pregnancy induced hypertension. As far as Tuberculosis is considered, doctors say that pregnancy reduces women’s immunity and this makes her more vulnerable to TB. In the past years, Anaemia was considered as the main cause.

Resistance To Antibiotic Action Might Be Behind Rising Sepsis Deaths

A recent study from KEM hospital showed that only if the maternal deaths strictly from Mumbai are taken into account, the maternal mortality rate would stand at 88 only.  According to the authorities, deaths from outside the city and those who are admitted to the hospital under serious condition accounted for half of the maternal deaths. Moreover, doctors also say that the role of antibiotic resistance cannot be ruled out. This means that due to low immunity and the antibiotic resistance, they develop vulnerability to infections such as Tuberculosis. This is majorly due to the medical condition called Sepsis.

Normally, body releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight infections. Sepsis occurs when body’s response to these chemicals gets out of balance and hence results in a condition that can damage multiple organs.

Sepsis is a condition in which body’s response to an infection is affected negatively. Normally, body releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight infections. Sepsis occurs when body’s response to these chemicals gets out of balance and hence results in a condition that can damage multiple organs.

In Mumbai, Sepsis marks 12% of the total maternal deaths followed by tuberculosis which constituted 11% of the maternal deaths. Haemorrhage constituted 9 percent of the total deaths. Back in 2015, Sepsis occurred as the fourth most common reason of maternal deaths. Tuberculosis has remained as the second most common reason for two consecutive years.

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