Tamil Nadu achieves drop in maternal mortality

MMR dips to 57 from 63 in 2015-17

February 16, 2020 03:00 am | Updated 03:00 am IST - CHENNAI

Tamil Nadu’s Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has dipped to 57 per one lakh live births in 2019 according to the State Health Management Information System (HMIS) data.

This reduction figured in the budget presentation of Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Friday. He said MMR has reduced from 90 per one lakh live births in 2010-2012 to 63 in 2015-2017 and further to 57 in 2019 as per data maintained by the State government.

As per HMIS data, the State’s MMR stood at 60 per one lakh live births in 2018. The latest Sample Registration System (SRS) data on MMR for the period 2015-2017 placed TN’s MMR at 63 per one lakh live births, officials said.

“HMIS reflects real-time data that we provide to the Government of India. This decline to 57 per one lakh live births is a good sign and is proof that maternal care has improved in the State. A single intervention alone has not brought about this decline. But a number of efforts starting with the health of adolescent girls to ante natal and post natal care of mothers including high risk women has led to this further reduction. We provide nutritional kits for pregnant women, and have ambulances/dedicated vehicle facility to pick up high risk mothers and bring them to the CEmONC (Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care) centres,” said K. Senthil Raj, mission director, National Health Mission-Tamil Nadu.

The drop is the outcome of multiple factors, K. Kolandaswamy, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, noted. Well-functioning CEmONC centres, direct appointment of specialists, improvement in infrastructure, protocol-based management and full strength of village health nurses and ICDS staff are among the many factors, he said.

“We have achieved reduction in higher order births, while every pregnancy is being monitored through the Pregnancy and Infant Cohort Monitoring and Evaluation system. We have birth waiting rooms in remote areas to enable pregnant women to get admitted at least 10 days before delivery,” he pointed out.

Consistent monitoring

Monitoring of high risk mothers has been one of the focus areas of the authorities.

“We are ensuring timely admission of high risk pregnant women. This includes women who are anaemic, those with cardiac ailments, pregnancy-induced hypertension, bad obstetric history, previous caesarean section and elderly primi. We are identifying such women at the time of ante natal registration,” Dr. Senthil Raj said.

Obstetricians and gynaecologists were appointed as mentors in districts, he said.

“Every month, the block medical officer and primary health centre’s medical officer meet the OG and discuss the high risk cases. In fact, village health nurses keep in touch with the OG in CEmONC centres via WhatsApp,” he added.

Experts said the Tamil Nadu Pregnancy and Heart Disease Registry started a few months ago, would help in recording heart diseases among pregnant women.

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