C-sections doubled over 10 years

C-sections doubled over 10 years

In the last 10 years, the number of caesarean deliveries has more than doubled all over the country, presumably because of a large number of unnecessary C-sections in the private healthcare sector.

This is seen in the latest public health survey data from the health ministry that asked the states to rein in private clinics and doctors pushing for C-section, which is delivery through surgery instead of natural childbirth.

The 2005-06 version of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-III) found only 8.5% deliveries through the C-section route. But the number jumped to 17.2% in NFHS-IV that surveyed 6,00,000 households all over the country. It is evident that the push is coming from the private sector as almost 41% of the deliveries in private clinics and hospitals are through C-section, according to the NFHS-IV. 

Ten years ago, only 27.7% of the total deliveries in the private sector were C-sections. The number of C-sections has come down in the public sector in this 10-year period.

“We have written to the state governments asking them to curb this practice. We are also talking to the association of obstetricians and gynaecologists. Ideally only about 15-20% of the deliveries should be through the C-section route,” Union Health Secretary C K Mishra said here.

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