The number of babies born through caesarean section almost doubled worldwide between 2000 and 2015, from 12 to 21 per cent of all births, according to a series of three papers published in The Lancet journal.
In 15 countries, more than 40% of births happen through this procedure. In 2015, use of C-section was ten times higher in Latin America and the Caribbean at 44.3% than it was in the west and central African region where it was used for just 4.1% of deliveries.
The studies, which considered C-section trends in 169 countries, found an increase of 3.7% each year between 2000 and 2015.
“The global and regional increases in C-section use were driven both by an increasing proportion of births occurring in health facilities, and increases in C-section use within health facilities,” the authors said.
The authors also said that while 10-15% of live births require C-section, most countries exceed this level.”
Dr Meenakshi Deshapande, gynaecologist from Pune, said, “A combination of demographic, socioeconomic changes and institutional factors determine the rate of caesarean section delivery in any region. Healthcare centre rates of caesarean births vary widely depending on differences in the cases, transport availability in those regions, a mix of the obstetric populations they serve, and the clinical management protocols.”