WHO has voiced its concern in what it described as increased use of surgical childbirth – or Caesarean delivery worldwide. The practice is more prominent in high- and middle-income countries. ‘WHO’ is particularly concerned with the abuse of this important life saving surgery.
Caesarean sections must be justified medically and it can save lives. However when a Caesarean section is performed unnecessarily, WHO says it puts both the mother and the baby at risk of short and long term health issues.
Health experts have deduced that the ideal rate for C-section is between 10 and 15 percent. If the rates go below 10% mothers and babies mortality rise since they do not have access to life saving intervention. This fact has been established after evaluating statistics in Africa which reveals that there is a linkage between low C-section numbers and high mortality rates.
However studies also reveals that there is no evidence that mortality rates goes down if the C-section rates goes above 10%.
On the other hand, studies indicate there is no evidence that mortality rates improve when the rate goes above 10 percent. Indeed, Caesarean sections sometimes can have serious consequences.
The director of WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research, Marleen Temmerman, while talking to VOA said that C-section is generally a safe operation, but risks to health do exist.
Marleen said,“The chance of a complication is not that high, but the risk, the mortality can be very serious. You have like life threatening complications due to bleedings, most of them, but also other complications like thromboembolic risks are higher after surgery than after a vaginal delivery.”
Dr. Marleen was quick to point out that C-section is advisable if normal delivery is risky for the mother or the child. Conditions like prolonged labor, fetal distress, or because the baby is in an abnormal position can warrant a C-0section procedure.
However she is concerned about the jump in unnecessary Caesarean sections being done in developed and developing world due to lifestyle issues.
She says she is concerned about the huge increase in the number of unnecessary Caesarean sections being performed in both developed and developing countries. She says lifestyle issues generally are driving this epidemic of C-sections.
Dr. Marleen said, “For a gynecologist actually it is easier to do a Caesarean section sometimes because you can plan your life. You call all your patients in, so to speak, for Caesareans. Every day you do two Caesareans-one at nine, one at 10 in the theater-no stress, no night duties, no call in emergencies or fetal distress or bleedings or whatever. So, you have a better life.”
C-Sections are fine for hospitals because they are able to organize their workforce in a better way. Women prefer C-Section in place of normal vaginal delivery because of fear of pain and physical after effects.