Journal of Current Research in Scientific Medicine

: 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 58--59

Reduction in global maternal mortality ratio far from expectation: So what next?

Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava, Jegadeesh Ramasamy 
 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Reduction in global maternal mortality ratio far from expectation: So what next?.J Curr Res Sci Med 2016;2:58-59

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Reduction in global maternal mortality ratio far from expectation: So what next?. J Curr Res Sci Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Feb 8 ];2:58-59
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Full Text

Dear Sir,

Globally, more than 135 million women, including 16 million girls in the age group of 15-19 years, give birth each year, of which almost 20 million are exposed to pregnancy-associated complications after childbirth. [1] International stakeholders and policy makers have pledged time and again to improve the maternal health standards and reduce the number of maternal deaths under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). [1],[2] Although the number of maternal deaths has reduced by almost 44% (0.53 million in 1990 to 0.30 million in 2015), the rate of progress is very slow and as a matter of fact, barring nine nations, rest all have failed to achieve the MDG. [1]

The current global estimates clearly reveal that maternal mortality is unacceptably high, with more than 800 women dying every day from pregnancy or childbirth associated preventable complications every single day. [2] Further, teenage pregnancy has also been associated with violation of the rights of girls, life-threatening complications, high financial burden on society and health system, malnutrition, prospects of education, increased rates of school drop-out, and even mortality. [1],[2],[3] In fact, 99% of all the maternal deaths have been reported in developing nations, with rates being more common among vulnerable population groups. [1],[3] Although many reasons have been identified for maternal deaths, the absence of skilled care acts as a major barrier toward improvement of maternal health as almost 49% of women from low-income nations is not assisted by a skilled birth attendant during childbirth. [1],[3]

At the same time, it is noteworthy that for every woman who dies during childbirth, dozens more are exposed to injury, infection, or disease. [2] Acknowledging the magnitude of the problem, its impact on different dimensions of the society, and the accelerated gain obtained in reducing the number of maternal deaths after the year 2000 in various nations, the program managers from all WHO member states have aimed to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to below 70/0.1 million live births under the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. [1],[2] However, to actually accomplish it, there is a great need to identify all the existing shortcomings and then offer quality assured reproductive, maternal, and newborn health care services, which is readily accessible and acceptable to all those who need. [1]

In addition, implementation of other interventions such as sustained commitment from the policy makers; strengthening of the healthcare delivery system; mobilizing resources in an evidence-based manner proportionate to the local needs; conducting delivery under aseptic conditions to reduce the risk of infection; administering oxytocin immediately after childbirth to minimize chances of severe bleeding; early detection and prompt management of morbidities; preventing unwanted and early pregnancies by offering easy access to contraceptives; providing safe and legally induced abortion services; caring for the complications of unsafe abortions; access to antenatal care in pregnancy, skilled care during childbirth, and care and support after childbirth; improving literacy status of women; fostering collaboration from all the concerned stakeholders; strengthening of the civil registration system to obtain precise estimates of maternal deaths, and conducting maternal death audits to have an insight about the circumstances that led to death of the women and what can be done to prevent similar deaths will also deliver encouraging results. [1],[4],[5]

To conclude, No woman should die in childbirth, and it is the responsibility of each stakeholder to empower her with the desired information, care, and support to effectively deal with her reproductive, pregnancy, and newborn health care needs.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division. Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2015. Geneva: WHO Press; 2015. p. 1-13.
2World Health Organization. Maternal Mortality - Fact Sheet No. 348; 2015. Available from: . [Last accessed on 2015 Nov 11].
3Acharya G. Preventing maternal deaths and overcoming challenges related to disability in pregnant women. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2015;94:123-4.
4Moshabela M, Sene M, Nanne I, Tankoano Y, Schaefer J, Niang O, et al. Early detection of maternal deaths in Senegal through household-based death notification integrating verbal and social autopsy: A community-level case study. BMC Health Serv Res 2015;15:16.
5Seward N, Prost A, Copas A, Corbin M, Li L, Colbourn T, et al. Using observational data to estimate the effect of hand washing and clean delivery kit use by birth attendants on maternal deaths after home deliveries in rural Bangladesh, India and Nepal. PLoS One 2015;10:e0136152.