C-sections becoming the norm for families in Telangana: Study

The Unicef research found that weak public health infrastructure, a mushrooming private health sector and social prestige were behind the rapid increase in C-sections in the state

By Kundan Pandey
Published: Thursday 16 January 2020

Caesarean sections deliveries seem to be the new normal in Telangana due to a number of factors: A weak public health infrastructure, a mushrooming of private health care facilities and even a percieved notion of prestige, found a study commissioned by the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef).

According to the study, families believe that a C-section delivery of babies project that they have taken good care of their daughters and daughters-in-law. 

Couples had fewer children and at an older age. They wanted to ensure that deliveries were safe, several families told researchers. Not just a woman’s nuptial family but her natal one too favoured a painless, ‘safe’ delivery. 

Ideally, the rate for C-sections should be between 10 and 15 per cent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In Telangana, however, 58 per cent deliveries were through C-section, the latest National Family Health Survey reported in 2016. The figure was 75 per cent among deliveries at private-sector facilities.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reported the next year that 45 per cent of total baby births in the state were C-sections in 2016-17, up from 33 per cent in 2013-14. While a third of the deliveries at public were caesarean, the rate was 67 per cent at private hospitals. In fact, in districts such as Warangal and Karimnagar, the rate was as high as 80 per cent at private centres.

So common was the process that chances were all children in a random group one would encounter in Karimnagar could be through C-section deliveries, said BR Shamanna, in-charge of the Unicef study and professor at School of Medical Science, University of Hyderabad.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :
Related Stories

India Environment Portal Resources :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.