Challenges in obstetric morbidity and mortality, with special reference to India: A literature review

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date



The purpose of this article was to conduct a review on the determinants of maternal morbidity and mortality, obstetric health scenario, especially after the implementation of the Janani Surksha Yojana (JSY) and recognise the existing gaps in research in obstetric health and healthcare utilisation in India. The articles were retrieved using search engines like Google Scholar and PubMed, using specific combination of terms along with the grey literature available in national and regional health databases. Although the current medical knowledge and interventions are capable to tackle most physical preconditions responsible for maternal deaths, yet the utilisation of healthcare facilities depends on the available health infrastructure, human resources and quality of services that are accessible and acceptable to the beneficiaries. Acceptability especially is impacted by the health-seeking behaviour of a community. The implementation of JSY is believed to contribute to the decline of maternal mortality ratio, yet maternal health outcome reports gross inequity in terms of utilisation of antenatal care and postnatal care at many sub-national levels. Thus, micro-level studies are required to understand critically the level of utilisation of formal healthcare facilities, in order to ensure an unscathed maternal health profile throughout India.