Tamil Nadu is ranked third in the health performance index showing an improvement in maternal mortality data. Though the current maternal mortality rate is higher than Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of 70 deaths per lakh live births by 2030, Tamil Nadu met the sustainable development goal with 66 deaths per lakh live births during 2014-16. National figures of MMR per lakh live birth has also improved with number of deaths reducing from 167 to 130 over past three years to 2014-16, according to a recent report on maternal mortality through the Sample Registration Survey. As part of its vision 2023, the state health department aims to reduce the maternal mortality rate (MMR) to as low as 30. Earlier, health secretary J Radhakrishnan had said that the Health Management Information System data records an MMR of 62 currently. With Kerala recording a MMR of 46, Maharashtra- 61 and Tamil Nadu-62, the three states meet the sustainable development goal target of 70 deaths per lakh live births by 2030.
Though states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have improved by 30 percent and 20 percent respectively, the registered number of MMR still lies above 200. The recent IndiaSpend analysis of the latest maternal mortality data showed that Tamil Nadu improved its overall health performance by improving infant and under-five mortality along with better reach of immunization programs in the state. Public health department officials say that monitoring of the health services at the hospital and urban primary health centers, sex ratio at birth, improved infrastructure and sufficient staff also aids in reducing the maternal deaths to a great extent. Medicos say that common causes behind maternal deaths include anaemia, cardiac disorders, post-partum hemorrhage, high blood pressure during pregnancy, hypertension and other infections. Attending each mother and new born by skilled health professionals to provide as timely management and treatment help reduce maternal deaths. – Deccan Chronicle