Maternal Mortality Rate being studied for the first time in Nepal

A study of Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) is to be conducted through National Census-2021 for the first time in the country.

The Ministry of Health and Population will be carrying out the study along with the census with the objective of determining maternal mortality rate and strengthening safe maternity service by identifying reasons behind the deaths.

Joint-secretary at the Ministry, Indramani Pokharel, said that a study would be carried out to identify maternal mortality rate of women of reproductive age group to determine ways to make maternity service safe, qualitative, affordable and accessible. The Ministry has started imparting training health workers for the study, he added.

A report will be prepared from the census and programmes related to preventing maternal mortality rate will be run as per the report.

Under the study, a joint project of the Ministry and the Central Bureau of Statistics enumerators will determine whether any woman of 15-49 age group in any family has died in the past 12 months.

The study aims to find out the figure of maternity mortality in the first phase and it will be followed by the comprehensive data collection related to the causes of death.

The deaths of women during pregnancy, labour pain, post-partum period (up to six months) or in other circumstances will be recorded during the study. The schedule for the preliminary data collection to determine the household with maternal death has been fixed from November 11 to 25 (15 days) and it will be followed by finding out the causes of death through oral survey.

A total of 847 surveyors will be mobilised to assist in the study.

Similarly, four health workers each will be mobilised in the metropolis, three each in the sub-metropolis, and one each in the municipality and rural municipality.

According to the National Demographic and Health Survey 2016, the MMR for Nepal is 239 deaths per 100,000 live births. Nepal is expected to limit the figure to 70 by 2030 in order to advance towards Sustainable Development Goals.

The MMR makes up 12 per cent in the total deaths of women in the reproductive age group in Nepal.