Poor service utilisation related to childbirth predisposes to high MMR among rural women of South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India 2009

Background: South 24-Parganas district in West Bengal, India, has a high Maternal mortality ratio and low utilization of services related to childbirths like institutional delivery and antenatal services. Eighty four percent of the population of South 24-Parganas is living in remote areas. Riverine Sundarban is the most challenging area in the district for the service provider and beneficiaries. This study was planned to know the exact state of maternal deaths & service utilisation related to child births, to see the distribution, comparison & trend of Service utilisation & outcome related to childbirth & find out any factor related to maternal mortality.

Method: This is an observational descriptive study of a population of 1,57,695 pregnant mothers in 2008-09. Data were collected from the records of the district as well as from the blocks.

Results: The district had a high dropout between mothers registered for Antenatal (101%) & mothers who utilised 3 valid ANCs (63%) and a wide gap (24%) between Antenatal registered mothers (101%) and reported childbirth (77%). All blocks of Sundarban were far behind in utilisation of Institution for delivery (20%), 3 valid Antenatal (60%) and 3 Postnatal services (47%).

Conclusion: The district had a high MMR. Proportion of home delivery was very high and practically totally conducted by unskilled personnel. Home deliveries were higher in the riverine blocks compared to non-riverine blocks. Poor utilisation of services results in substantial maternal deaths but low reporting efficiency restricts the number. To reduce the MMR, quality of Antenatal and Intranatal services has to be improved, to entice mothers to avail services.


Author (s): 

Prakash Mridha, R. Ramakrishnan Field Epidemiology Training Programme (FETP), National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, India

Presenter (s): 
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