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A Comparative Assessment of Maternal Health and Maternal Health Policies In India and US: Need to Transition from a Biomedical Model to A Biopsychosocial Model for Maternal Health Policies

JHHSA, Vol. 40 No. 4, (2018)

More than 300,000 women died due to pregnancy related causes in 2015, a global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 216 per 100,000 live births (Alkema et al., 2016). Millennium Development Goals have led to a 44% decline in global MMR, but significant variations still remain across geographical regions (United Nations [UN], 2015). India accounts for the second highest maternal deaths in the world (World Health Organization [WHO], 2015). In contrast, the U.S. is the only developed country with an increasing MMR in recent years (“Maternal Mortality,” 2015). However, little attention has been given to maternal health in public policy research and practice in both countries. This paper compares and contrasts maternal health status and analyzes maternal health policies in India and the U.S. two health models. Based on comparative case analysis, the overall recommendation is to expand the scope of maternal health from a biomedical health model towards a biopsychosocial model and restructure the policy frameworks. This paper contributes to the maternal health discourse and hopes to garner attention of global and regional health policy scholars and policy makers.

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