NEW DELHI, March 10 � Confirming that the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in Assam at 300 is the highest in the country, the Union Health Ministry has said that the upper Assam division is worst hit.
According to the latest Annual Health Survey report 2012-13, out of the four divisions of Assam, the MMR in hills and Barak Valley region, lower Assam division and north Assam division is less than 300 per 100,000 live births, while upper Assam division, where most of the tea gardens are located, has the highest MMR of more than 400 per 100,000 live births, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda said in reply to a question by Naznin Faruque in the Rajya Sabha today.
The causes are multi-factorial � including poor healthcare services in these areas, poor nutrition and habits of the residents to consume salt with tea, poor awareness and low literacy.
Under the National Health Mission, support is being provided to the states for healthcare strengthening like support for health system strengthening including infrastructure and human resources.
According to the Government of Assam, it has taken several measures including supply of free medicines to tea garden hospitals and DDT spraying before the onset of monsoon. Both fund and manpower are provided by the Government of India, Nadda said.
A total number of 250 ambulances have been provided by the Government of India to the tea gardens for referral transport facility of patients. Steps have been taken for timely identification and tracking of high risk pregnant women and to ensure timely treatment to reduce maternal mortality. The Health Services Monitoring System is being implemented in the state from January 20, he said.
Under the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), all pregnant women giving birth in public health institutions are entitled to absolutely �no expense� delivery, including Caesarean section.
It has also been informed that a meeting was held at NHM, Assam on January 3, in which all the representatives of the tea associations like Assam Branch of the Indian Tea Association (ABITA), Tea Association of India (TAI), Assam Tea Corporation (ATC), Indian Tea Association (ITA) and Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS), were present.