The maternal mortality ratio in India reduced by 22% during the 2014-’16 period as compared to the 2011-’13 period, the Sample Registration System bulletin, which was released on Wednesday said. The ratio has declined from 167 deaths per one lakh live births in 2011-’13 to 130 in 2014-’16.

Maternal mortality ratio is defined as the proportion of maternal deaths per one lakh live births. The survey covered 62,96,101 pregnant women. Of them, 556 died.

“The latest Sample Registration System figures reveal that we have gone beyond the target of Maternal Mortality Ratio of 139 by 2015 and have reached 130!! I congratulate the ministry and the states for their joint efforts,” said Union Health Minister JP Nadda, according to PTI.

In 2016, there were 12,000 less maternal deaths compared to 2013. This means that every day, 30 more pregnant women were saved compared to 2013.

The Sample Registration System categorises states into three groups: Empowered Action Group, southern states and others. The first group includes Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand and Assam while the southern states are those of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The bulletin said that among the southern states, the maternal mortality ratio declined from 93 to 77. In other states, the ratio came down from 115 to 93. Uttar Pradesh topped the chart with a 30% drop in maternal deaths.

However, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu were the best performers. These three states have already achieved the maternal mortality ratio target of 70 per one lakh live births.

Kerala remains at the top with a maternal mortality ratio of just 46 during 2014-’16, down from 61 in 2011-’13. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are at second and third positions with ratios of 61 and 66, the report said.