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
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.
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