Gandhinagar: Gujarat stands at sixth place in the country in Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR). According to a report by the union health ministry, of the one lakh pregnancies from 2014 to 2016, the MMR of Gujarat is 91, while the child mortality rate in the past one year stands at 30.

There has been a decrease by 21 points in the MMR of Gujarat state in the past 3 years. In the years 2011 to 2013, the MMR was 112. In the CAG report issued on June 6, Gujarat is placed behind Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana at sixth place. The MMR at the national level is 130. Of the one thousand childbirths in the state in 2016, the child mortality rate stood at 30. In rural Gujarat, 43 child deaths of infants aged 0 to 4 were recorded, the number in urban areas was 22. The difference between both the figures shows the imbalance in the healthcare segment of the state in rural and urban areas.

The previous year’s CAG report said that healthcare and education should be provided at no cost to every citizen. Yet the government hospitals are not equipped well to take care of the patients. This forces poor families to go to costly private hospitals for better pregnancy care. The government spent crores of rupees in the promotion and activities of its eight different schemes related to healthcare and to reduce maternal and child mortality. But despite all this, there has been no improvement on that front, because instead of hiring specialists, doctors and paramedical, the government has hired regular Asha workers to do the job at government hospitals.