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UP Accounts For 36 Maternal Deaths Every Day; 13200 In A Year

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Union health ministry’s ‘Guidelines for Maternal Death Surveillance and Response’ found out that in Uttar Pradesh 36 maternal deaths take place every day. These deaths if counted in a year come up to 13,200 maternal deaths – 30% of 44,000 maternal deaths happening in India every year. However, the bigger challenge is that health experts are not able to find the actual cause as 50% women don’t even report these cases under the health management information systems.

The report states that there is a lag in maternal death monitoring system. World Health Organisation describes maternal death as the death of a woman while she is pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy. The cause of a maternal death has to be pregnancy or its management. A pregnant woman’s death due to accident or incidental causes is not a maternal death.

To tackle the challenge of maternal mortality and morbidity, the government launched Maternal Death Review (MDR) process in 2010. One of its key focuses was also to improve quality of obstetric care. It analysed various factors on the basis of community, facility, district, regional and national level.

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But the Guideline mentioned in its introductory note that after the implementation of MDR in several states in five years of its inception, it hasn’t really tapped into the ‘mechanism for response’. More than that, it identified three main issues with MDR.

MDSR is a continuous cycle of identification, notification and review of maternal deaths followed by actions to improve quality of care and prevent future deaths

The main issue is that health management information systems records less than 50% cases of estimated maternal deaths in India. Then it lacks the capacity to undertake quality review at various levels. Thirdly, it failed in translating the key findings into impactful actions.

As action to the feedback, the health union ministry restructured the process of Maternal Death Surveillance and Response (MDSR). The new guidelines focus on ‘improving reporting of maternal deaths’ and ‘improving analysis and action planning’.

“MDSR is a continuous cycle of identification, notification and review of maternal deaths followed by actions to improve quality of care and prevent future deaths,” said Prashant Trivedi, principal secretary, health and family welfare, TOI reported. He added that the state government formed the relevant committees to implement MDSR.

Picture credit:  dnainida.com

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