Nepal | May 25, 2020

Caesarean section births increasing at alarming rate

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Kathmandu, May 24

Rate of caesarean section births has increased alarmingly in the country in the past few years.

According to Nepal Demographic Health Survey-2006, two per cent of all babies born in  rural areas were delivered by C-section while birth by C-section in urban areas was eight per cent. In 2016, C-section birth reached six per cent in the rural areas and 12 per cent in urban areas.

Currently, the rate of C-section delivery at private hospitals is 30 per cent while 15 per cent   babies are delivered by C-section at public hospitals.

Speaking at an interaction organised at Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital today, Laxmi Tamang, president of Midwifery Society of Nepal, said C-section was a life saving procedure required for complicated pregnancies.

According to WHO, only 10 to 15 per cent births require caesarean section for medical reasons.

“But hospitals prefer C-section for non-medical reasons too. C-section is mainly required in case of complications such as bleeding, foetal distress, hypertension or a baby being in an abnormal position,” said Tamang.

Among public hospitals, Bharatpur Hospital, Chitwan, has topped the list with 37 per cent births through C-section. In the fiscal 2018/19, of the total births at Paropakar Maternity Women’s Hospital, 29 per cent were through C-section, while it was  27 per cent each at Janakpur Zonal Hospital, Dhanusha, and Lumbini Zonal Hospital, Butwal.

As many as 26 per cent mothers gave births to their babies through C-section at Western Regional Hospital, Pokhara, while the rate was 25 per cent each at Koshi Zonal Hospital, Biratnagar, and Seti Zonal Hospital, Kailali.

C-section is riskier for newborns, according to Tamang. “Some 7.9 per cent children born via vaginal delivery have the risk of suffering from asthma, while 9.5 per cent children born through C-section have this risk. Obesity is seen among 19.4 per cent children born via C-section. These children also run the risk of Type 1 diabetes,” she said.


A version of this article appears in print on May 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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