Caesarean section on the rise globally- WHO


The World Health Organization (WHO) says caesarean section use has continue to rise globally.

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This was according to a research carried out by WHO, the research showed  that caesarean section now accounts for more than 1 in 5 (21%) of all childbirths.

The research was based on nationally representative data from countries worldwide and covered the period between 1990 to 2018, drawing from routine health information systems reports and population-based household surveys from 154 countries.


This number is set to continue increasing over the coming decade, with nearly a third (29%) of all births likely to take place by caesarean section by 2030, the research finds.

While a caesarean section can be an essential and life-saving surgery, it can put women and babies at unnecessary risk of short- and long-term health problems if performed when there is no medical need.

“Caesarean sections are absolutely critical to save lives in situations where vaginal deliveries would pose risks, so all health systems must ensure timely access for all women when needed,” said Dr Ian Askew, Director of WHO’s Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research and the UN joint programme, HRP.

“But not all the caesarean sections carried out at the moment are needed for medical reasons.  Unnecessary surgical procedures can be harmful, both for a woman and her baby.”

The UN agency noted that caesarean sections can be essential in situations such as prolonged or obstructed labour, fetal distress, or because the baby is presenting in an abnormal position.

WHO said that, however, as with all surgeries, CS can have risks. These include the potential for heavy bleeding or infection, slower recovery times after childbirth, delays in establishing breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact, and increased likelihood of complications in future pregnancies.




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