by Abby Kapoor - January 20, 2010
New Delhi, January 20 -- According to a recent survey on maternal and perinatal health by the World Health Organisation (WHO), nearly one in five women in India are going under knives or giving birth by Cesarean section, or C-section, as compared to vaginal births.
The trend for C-section is on the rise in the hospitals throughout the world; many of the operations are “unnecessary” and are merely for financial gains.
In China, nearly one in every two births are delivered by C-section, and the rate is around two in five in Thailand and Vietnam.
Review of births in nine countries
WHO reviewed 107,950 births from nine countries in Asia, including India, China, Japan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, during 2007-2008, and found that 27 percent births were delivered by C-section.
Another similar survey which was conducted in Latin America found that 35 percent of pregnant women gave birth by C-section.
Out of 107,950 births, 24,000 were from Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, New Delhi and Gujarat.
Findings of the survey
According to WHO survey, C-section births have gone up beyond the recommended level of 15 percent in these countries not "because of an immediate medical need for it but due to financial gains".
The WHO health experts feel that such boom is unnecessary and C-section deliveries can harm mothers’ health.
The study result found that women who undergo C-sections that are not medically necessary are more likely to die as compared to women who give birth naturally.
Various American studies show that babies born by C-section are more susceptible to respiratory problems. The Asia survey found the procedure helps newborns during breech births.
WHO advises against unnecessary operations
They warn that "mothers should only get a C-section when there is a need for it as it increases risk of maternal death, infant death, admission into an intensive care unit, blood transfusion and hysterectomy as compared to spontaneous vaginal delivery.”
Adding further, they said, "But these risks have not necessarily been absorbed into medical culture because in two thirds of the hospitals which took part in the survey, the institution had carried out Caesarean to earn more money as it costs more that the normal delivery, for example in India it is nearly Rs 20,000 costlier."
On Wednesday, another study which appeared on online edition of the ‘Lancet’, found that females who underwent C-section without requiring it were 10 times more likely to be admitted to ICU than those with vaginal birth.