Mar 24, 2010

Caesarean Births: High in U.S., Low in Developing Countries

AUTHOR:Dr Harry Strulovici, MD, MPH

Denise Brady's New York Times article, "Caesarean Births Are at a High in U.S." highlights the rapid rise of Caesarean sections in the United States as well as other countries including China. She mentions that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the C-section be about 15%. Yet in the developing world, rates of C-section are outrageously low and imperil the lives of women and children. In fact, obstetric fistula (a hole between the bladder and vagina) is caused by the inability of women to access care (C-section) during obstructed labor. In Uganda, the C-section rate is a mere 2.7%. This is a gross inequity of health care delivery between developing countries and the first world continues in spite of billions of dollars spent. Yes, the C-section rate needs to be reduced in the US, but we also need to spend our aid dollars to strengthen health systems in developing countries so that pregnant women can obtain C-sections when needed and thus minimize deaths and life-long debilitating complications of childbirth.

Full New York Times Article: Caesarean Births Are at a High in U.S.

Did you know?

The leading causes of maternal deaths are hemorrhage, infections, unsafe abortions, high blood pressure leading to seizures, and obstructed labor.

Source:United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 2010

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