Published on: October 19, 2022

High infant, maternal mortality rates

High infant, maternal mortality rates

Why in news?

Worried over rising Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality rate (MMR) in Karnataka compared with other states, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai directed deputy commissioners and zilla panchayat chief executives to take necessary measures

  • Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) : determines the progress made by States in saving the lives of pregnant women during pregnancy, childbirth and lactation. Karnataka’s MMR continues to be the highest among the five southern States


  • According to data, between April and September this year, 38,849 women suffered child-birth complications and 291 women died during pregnancy. As many as 4,838 new borns died in the same period.
  • According to data from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the IMR was 21 per 1,000 live births in Karnataka in 2019, whereas the all-India average was 30. Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has declined by nine points from 92 per lakh live births in 2016-2018 to 83 in 2017-2019
  • The main reason would be many women and families prefer to have their deliveries in district hospitals despite having better facilities in taluk-level hospitals.
  • MMR is high in districts such as Kalaburagi, Raichur, Gadag, Koppal, Yadgir, Bidar, Vijayapura, Ballari, Davanagere, Bagalkot and Shivamogga.
  • Hospitals facing huge patient influx and those with poor patient turnout – despite having all facilities for the screening of pregnant women
  • State was facing challenges in providing maternal and child health services said efforts were being made to address the lack of availability of specialists — obstetricians, paediatricians, and anaesthetists — at government hospitals in rural areas.

What are the key measures to be taken from Government ?

  • Need for both DCs and CEOs to launch widespread awareness campaign about facilities available in taluk-level hospitals.
  • Recruitment of anaesthetists, surgeons and doctors is need for an hour
  • The taluk hospitals must have least 5 ICU wards. There is a need to highlight about these facilities to build confidence among the people living in rural areas
  • It is also pointed out that the state government will strengthen Anganwadi centres further to provide nutritious food to pregnant women and newborns.
  • There is a need to improve education, health, nutrition, women and child welfare in aspirational taluks.

What are the schemes introduced to reduce MMR and IMR ?

  • Mathrushree Scheme
  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana
  • Jnani Suraksha yojana
  • Srusti
  • Provision of meals to the pregnant and lactating mothers by Anganwadi centres