India has witnessed a decline in the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), officials said on Wednesday.

The South Asian country has witnessed a decline in MMR from 130 in 2014-16 to 97 per 100,000 live births in 2018-20.

“As per the Special Bulletin on MMR released by the Registrar General of India (RGI), the MMR of India has improved further by a spectacular 6 points and now stands at 97/100,000 live births,” the health ministry said.

The MMR is defined as the number of maternal deaths during a given time period per 100,000 live births.

“As per the statistics derived from Sample Registration System (SRS), the country has witnessed a progressive reduction in MMR from 130 in 2014-2016, 122 in 2015-17, 113 in 2016-18, 103 in 2017-19 and to 97 in 2018-20,” the ministry said.

“Upon achieving this, India has accomplished the National Health Policy (NHP) target for MMR of less than 100/100,000 live births and is on the right track to achieve the sustainable development goal (SDG) target of MMR less than 70/100,000 live births by 2030.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded the decline in MMR.

“A very encouraging trend. Happy to see this change. Our emphasis on furthering all aspects relating to women empowerment remains very strong,” Modi tweeted.

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