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One of the eight international goals developed during the Millennium Development Plans(MDP) of the United Nations (UN) include – to improve maternal health. They in more detail included reducing maternity mortality ratio and improving access to reproductive health in terms of contraceptive prevalence, antenatal care, etc. Maternal health, in general, is referred to the woman care during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. Though the bliss of motherhood is incomparable, the lack of adequate healthcare services has transformed it into a period of stress and illness for the woman.
WHO defines maternal mortality as the death of a woman during pregnancy or within the first 42 days after giving birth. It is sad to know that India contributes a quarter of all maternal deaths. The Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) is an indication of number of maternal mortality for every lakh live births. India has been declining in this figure, for the past few years, it came down from 301 in 2003 to about 190 by 2013. However, India was not able to achieve its National Population Policy 2000 for 2010 to reduce maternal mortality rate below 100.
Statistics also indicate that a huge number of maternal deaths are due to hemorrhage and sepsis; this could easily be prevented by safe deliveries and adequate medical care. Therefore, the necessary health conditions have to be improved and more importantly reached to different parts of the society. There has been a drastic increase in the number of clinics that have come up for this cause; statistics indicate that they have increased 7 folds in the last decade.
However, delivering healthcare to such a large number of people is indeed a huge challenge to all people. There has been good development in terms of reaching to the masses and educating them, regarding adequate precautionary measures. However, we have to continuously strive forward in raising our bars and wish to take healthcare to the next level. Maternity clinics in Bangalore have the quality and standard second to no other major city in the country. Rural India is in great need of primary education in health concerns. One more point that has to be kept in mind is that maternal health is closely linked to newborn survival. About 5 years ago, the number of stillbirths was close to 2.6 million (in 2009). The care of the mother and child plays an important role in the improvement of society.