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

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.

Election Commission suffering from worst-ever "credibility crisis": Ex-bureaucrats

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, a group of ex-bureaucrats have lamented ‘weak-kneed’ responses of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Citing various violations of the model code of conduct, and pointing towards how ECI has taken little action, the letter asks the President to tell ECI to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned.”