Motherhood is considered to be one of the most beautiful experiences in a woman's life. However, many women never get the chance as they become victims of maternal death—India accounts for 20 percent of the world's victims, a staggering 55,000 out of the global figure of three lakh.
But thanks to government intervention through programmes such as the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) scheme, which encompasses free maternity services for women and children, nationwide scaling up of emergency referral systems and maternal death audits, and improvements in the governance and management of health services at all levels, we have managed to make a significant difference. The rate dropped from 212 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2007 to 178 deaths in 2012, but we still have a long way to go. The problem is still rampant among adolescent and illiterate mothers and those living in rural or hard to reach areas.
Words: Krupa Joseph