Adoption of safe delivery practices resulted in Rajasthan's maternal mortality rate (MMR) dropping from 677 per 100,000 births in 1997 to 445, a decline of 34 percent, said Health Minister Digambar Singh.
However, Rajasthan still lags far behind the national MMR average of 301, according to the report on 'Maternal Mortality in India: 1997-2003 - Trends, Causes and Risk Factors' released last week.
National MMR has come down to 301 in 2002-03 from 398 in 1997-98 and 327 in 1999-01, union Health Secretary P.K. Hota revealed while releasing the findings of a survey conducted by the Registrar General of India.
But the Rajasthan government hopes to better its record and is targeting at an MMR of 285 by 2011, the minister said.
Emergency delivery medical units had been set up in 200 centres to provide facilities to women in rural areas of the desert state. Besides, more than 20,000 midwives had also been trained to ensure safe delivery.
Singh said a twofold increase had been registered in the rate of institutional deliveries.