Maternal health and maternal mortality : A study of four selected districts of Assam

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The thesis addresses factors associated with high maternal mortality in Indian state of Assam through examination at disaggregated level. Motivation for taking up this research is twofold. First, according to recent estimates of Sample Registration System (SRS) report 2013, Assam exhibits the highest Maternal Mortality Rate in India with 300 per 1, 00,000 live births. An adverse pregnancy has lifelong effects on women’s health and her new-born as well. However, studies which have investigated the context-specific reasons behind such a dismal statistics are limited in both number and scope. To the best of our knowledge, this thesis attempts to fill up the gap in literature in a more comprehensive fashion. Second, in 2010, Planning Commission of India came up with a proposal of increasing government financing of health sector from 1 percent of GDP to at least 2.5 percent by the end of 12th Plan i.e. 2017. The fund is purported to be utilized for improving health care workforce, quality of care, governance and accountability. For effective and productive use of such enhanced funding, it is imperative to identify the sectors where public money should be spent to improve maternal health outcome. To this end, the thesis identifies certain barriers to maternal health seeking behavior at disaggregated level.
Supervisor: Bodhisattva Sengupta