How safe is motherhood in India?

Indian J Matern Child Health. 1993 Oct-Dec;4(4):94-6.


PIP: Strategies for reducing maternal mortality in India are suggested for prioritizing maternal and child health (MCH) nationally, for including MCH within welfare services, and for integrating vertical programs into MCH. Attention should be directed to delivery practices and facilities, which account for most of maternal mortality. Clean and well-equipped labor huts which provide quality care should be available in each community. High-risk patients should be housed in maternity waiting homes located near hospitals. Improvements should be made in provision of quality prenatal care in villages, primary health care, and evaluation of services. A focus on family planning targets is not sufficient. Postpartum care programs should function as centers for family activities. A national blood transfusion network should be examined as a feasible plan. All government vehicles should be at the disposal of emergency situations. Home science books for prospective mothers should include chapters on pregnancy, childbirth, and care of the newborn. Television serials hold promise as useful tools for mass health education. Medical students in Departments of Gynecology and Obstetrics should spend 66% of their training time in obstetrics and practical skills in childbirth and newborn care. Regional centers for research and evaluation should be established by the Council on Medical Research. The right to safe motherhood should be assured. A nationwide study conducted in the late 1970s found that maternal mortality was 753/100,000 deliveries. A hospital-based study in 1982-83 found that there were 133 maternal deaths/32,812 deliveries, a maternal mortality rate of 405/100,000 live births. 58.8% of maternal deaths were attributed to obstetric causes: 12.8% to hemorrhage, 17.3% to infection, 12% to hypertensive disorders, 8.3% to ruptured uterus. An additional 15.8% of deaths were caused by hepatitis and 7.5% by anemia. Indian maternal mortality in one week equals the total maternal mortality in all of Europe in one year.

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Demography
  • Developing Countries
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic*
  • Health
  • Health Planning Guidelines*
  • Health Services
  • India
  • Maternal Mortality*
  • Maternal Welfare*
  • Maternal-Child Health Centers*
  • Mortality
  • Population
  • Population Dynamics
  • Primary Health Care