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Health campaigners question whether fall in maternal mortality in India is a result of more hospital deliveries

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e7337 (Published 31 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7337
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

An Indian government programme to reduce the number of home births by giving expectant mothers cash grants has increased the number of hospital deliveries, but gaps in healthcare services are still causing avoidable maternal deaths, an alliance of health organisations has said.

The National Alliance for Maternal Health and Human Rights, a non-governmental coalition, has said that India’s health ministry has stirred demand and increased the number of hospital deliveries without paying enough attention to factors that determine maternal safety.

The health ministry’s Janani Suraksha Yojana (Mothers Protection Programme) provides a cash incentive of 1400 rupees (£16; €20; $25) mainly to poor and underprivileged pregnant women to give birth in hospital. The ministry said that the programme had helped increase the proportion of hospital deliveries in India from less than 49% when it was launched in 2005 to more than 72%.

But the maternal health alliance has cautioned …

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