India has the highest maternal mortality rate. In 2000, the rate was 407 per 100,000 births which means 200 pregnancies resulted in the death of the mother. Only 42% of child births are handled by trained medical practitioners, 30% are done by a doctor, 11% by a trained nurse and alarmingly 35% of the births are handled by a mid wife. Most of these child births are done in unhygienic conditions with no access to medical facilities in case of an emergency.
Maternal mortality is higher in the rural areas. Half of the women in India aged between 15-49 years suffer from anemia. Table 3 (See Appendix) shows the percentage of women suffering from anemia from 1998-1999 inurban and rural areas. The women in the rural areas are much more prone to anemia. Research also shows that one in five women suffer from post natal depression (Patel et al, 2004, pp 820-23).
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