Emerging causes and determinants of maternal mortality in India: based on large scale surveys since the 1990s
Narayan Prasad Das, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
Urvi Shah, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
Rajnikant Patel, Research Associate, Population Research Centre
Data from various large scale surveys are examined to understand the emerging level of maternal mortality in India, its clinical causes, the differentials by state, region, and socio-economic characteristics of households and to identify the proximate indicators that explain such differentials for programmatic intervention. Data reveal a high level of maternal mortality, despite substantial reduction, with large differentials by region and socio-economic characteristics of the household. The observed socio-economic differentials in maternal mortality are primarily found to be a function of the nutritional status of women and their utilization of antenatal and natal services. Analysis of the clinical causes and the proximate determinants also reiterate the critical role of institutional delivery and improved nutrition for further reduction in maternal mortality, both of which need to be addressed urgently if the country is to realize its commitment to reduce maternal mortality by three-fourths by 2015 under the Millennium Development Goal.