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Trends in Maternal Mortality

According to latest report, "Trends in Maternal Mortality" released jointly by WHO,Unicef,UNFPA and World Bank the maternal mortality rate is still very high in India. The number of women is dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth has decreased by 34% from an estimated 5.46 lakhs in 1990 to 3.58 lakhs in 2008 which is still on the higher side.

India is home to highest number of women dying during child birth across the world.India's MMR stood at 570 in 1990 which fell to 470 per 100,000 live births in 1995,390 in 2000, 280 in 2005 and 230 in 2008.

India which has seen an annual increase of MMR by 4.9% since 1990 now records 63,000 maternal deaths a year.

Even though the progress is notable the annual rate of decline is less than half of what is needed to achieve the MDG target of reducing the MMR by 75% between 1990 and 2015.

Pregnant women still die from four major causes- severe bleeding after child birth, infections, hypertensive disorders and unsafe abortion.

The risk of a woman in a developing country dying from a pregnancy related cause during her lifetime is about 36 times higher compared to a woman living in a developed country.

In Asia the number of maternal deaths is estimated to have dropped from 3.15 lakhs to 1.39 lakhs ,a 52% decrease.

Among developing regions the adult lifetime risk of maternal death is highest in sub Saharan Africa ( 1 in 31) followed by Oceania ( 1 in 110) and South Asia ( 1 in 120) while developed regions had the smallest lifetime risk ( 1 in 4300).

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