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One pregnant woman dies every five minutes in India: WHO

News Agencies | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:50 IST

At least one woman dies during pregnancy and child birth every five minutes in India, the World Health Organisation said.

According to WHO, of the 529,000 maternal deaths that occur every year, 136,000 or 25.7% take place in India.

"In fact, two-thirds of maternal deaths occur after delivery, postpartum hemorrhage being the most commonly reported complication. The incidence of emergency postpartum hysterectomies is about 83/100,000 with a maternal mortality of 17.7% and a perinatal mortality of 37.5%," said a WHO statement.

Postpartum bleeding or postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is defined as loss of more than 500 ml or 1,000 ml of blood within the first 24 hours of child birth.

As a result of high PPH incidences in India, it is unlikely that the country will achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 focussed on reducing maternal mortality and achieving universal access to reproductive health care.

"The latest estimates of maternal mortality rate (MMR) in India from 2011-13, show an average of 167 deaths/100,000 live births. The same estimates also demonstrate that wide geographical disparities persist. The highest MMR can be found in Assam (300) and the lowest in Kerala (61)," said the statement.

According to WHO, blood is in chronic short supply in India which stipulates that every country needs at least a 1% reserve.

"India, with its population of 1.2 billion people, needs 12 million units of blood annually but collects only nine million -- a 25% deficit. Globally, there are innovations in the field of patient blood management, whereas in India awareness on the management has been overlooked thus far," said the statement.

-With agency inputs

First published: 17 June 2016, 10:17 IST