Maternal Health Task Force

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The Need to Reach Marginalized Populations

The progress made on maternal health since the creation of the Millennium Development Goals has been uneven both between and within countries. However, the data coverage, particularly for maternal mortality ratios (MMR), within countries cannot always tells us the full story.

India’s MMR decreased by nearly 60% between 1990 and 2008 according to UN data. However, some estimates suggest that certain populations have an MMR over twice its country-wide MMR of 230 maternal death per 100,000 live births. A new paper published this month in BMC Public Health explores maternal experience of marginalized women in Karnataka, India.

Adamson et al. write:

This population-based study found that institutional deliveries in rural areas of Mysore District had increased from 51% to 70% between the years of 2002 and 2008. Additionally, it showed that while significantly more mothers were seeking antenatal care and delivering in institutional settings, large disparities continued to exist in the uptake of maternal health services among different castes. Mothers belonging to OBC or general castes were almost twice as likely to have an institutional birth as compared to SC/ST

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