Skip to main content

Gujarat's 41 per cent maternal deaths occur below the age of 25: Report

By Our Representative
A recent report prepared by Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, involving several NGOs working on health issues in Gujarat, and high-profile CommonHealth, has found that 41 per cent of the maternal deaths in Gujarat occur in very young women, below the age of 25 years. Basing its analysis of 46 maternal deaths, it said, seven of them took place when the mother was between 16 and 20 years, and 12 deaths were of women between 20 and 25 years.
Finalised in December 2014, and titled “Social Autopsies of Maternal Deaths in Select Areas of Gujarat”, the report states, “For many of the women, this was either the first (14/46) or the second pregnancy (13/46).” It added, “Eleven of the 46 women had between four and eight pregnancies.”
The report says, “More than half – 59%, i.e. 27 of the 46 deaths -- were of scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) women. This is a higher proportion than the state’s SC-ST population of around 22% (2011 Census).”
Pointing towards social indicators of these women, the report says, “Almost half of the women, who died – 46% -- were illiterate in comparison to 37% female illiteracy in Gujarat, and majority of the rest, almost one third of the total, were educated only up to primary level. Only 8 of the 46 women who died had secondary, graduate and vocational education.”
Most of the women who died had multiple occupations/responsibilities, the report says, “In addition to domestic work, 25 of them were involved in either agricultural work or/and wage labour. Nine of the women who died migrated for longer than 2-3 months without safety of home and other basic amenities or any social security.”
What the report particularly found shocking was, three of the women who died were extension workers of the Gujarat government – a teacher, a midday meal in charge, and an Asha health worker. One was Life Insurance Corporation agent.
Profiling death, the report says, “14 women (30%) died in the ante natal period, four (8.7%) during the childbirth and 28 (60.8%) after delivery. Amongst the post natal deaths, eight occurred within 24 hours, three within a week of the delivery and the rest (17) between 8 to 42 days of delivery.”
Lack of health facilities appeared to a major reason, indicates the report. “Fourteen maternal deaths – (30 %) - took place at home, 24 (52%) in institutions (10 in private and 14 in public institutions); eight deaths (17%) took place in transit”, it says.
“Among the indirect causes unrelated to pregnancy, anaemia in 4 (8.6%%) was the commonest followed by 2 deaths each due to jaundice, sickle cell disease and cardiovascular disease and one each due to malaria, tuberculosis, rabies, renal failure and dengue”, the report says.
The report says that the very fact that eight deaths happened during transit “points to the fact that although 108 has helped to increase access to health services for many women, many especially vulnerable women in remote areas continue to be plagued by lack of physical access and transport facilities.”

Comments

TRENDING

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.