TC-I Tidbits

  • Health: According to a report, India is not on track toward the Millennium Development Goal of reducing child and maternal mortality. The number of children who die before their fifth birthday stands at 76 per 1,000 live births, while the goal is 38.
  • Government Schemes: The Gujarat state government’s Jyoti Gram Yojana, a program to ensure 100 per cent village electrification, increased employment and reduced migration from rural areas by 33 per cent. The government is considering scaling up further and replicating in other areas.
  • Energy: India is one of the three countries in a renewable energy project by Osram, a lighting company, where solar-powered lanterns and battery boxes will replace kerosene lamps in villages.
  • Agriculture: In some positive news following the concern of rising food prices, the government estimates that India’s total food grains will be a record 227.32 million tons, which is 10 million more tons than last year.

Tracking Maternal Mortality Rates in Rural India

India has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world – 300 per 100,000 live births.  In fact, over 20% of the world’s reported maternal deaths occur in India, most of which are preventable, given the proper infrastructure and resources.  The majority of these maternal deaths occur in poor, rural areas, where access to proper healthcare is unavailable. 

Oftentimes, the number of maternal deaths – especially in remote rural areas – remains under-reported, thus resulting in mortality ratios that are often based on estimates rather than verifiable evidence.  Conventional surveillance systems, unfortunately, are inaccurate and prohibitively expensive, and as a result, “there have been only three published trials that have attempted to measure population maternal mortality ratio.”  In an attempt to effectively monitor the impact and progress of maternal interventions, therefore, researchers from India and the UK have developed a low-cost, “key informant” maternal mortality surveillance system.   According to OneWorld South Asia, here’s how the the study was conducted in the states of Jharkhand and Orissa:

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