New Delhi: The WHO (World Health Organisation) has commended India's progress in reducing the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by 77 percent, from 556 per one lakh live births in 1990 to 130 per one lakh live births in 2016. It said this progress puts the country on track towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal target of an MMR below 70 by 2030. India's present MMR is below the Millennium Development Goal target.

WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, Poonam Khetrapal Singh said, “India has made a concerted push to increase access to quality maternal health services with the coverage of essential maternal health services having doubled since 2005.”

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“The country has put significant emphasis on mitigating the social determinants of maternal health. Women in India are more literate than ever, with 68 percent now able to read and write,” Singh added.

She further said, “The government has put in substantive efforts to facilitate positive engagement between the public and private healthcare providers. According to a Sample Registration System bulletin released earlier this week, India has registered a significant decline in Maternal Mortality Ratio, recording a 22 percent reduction in such deaths since 2013.”