Nairobi — The number of caesarean section births in Kenya urban centres is alarming, a medical expert has warned.
According to Prof William Stones, a gynaecologist, more pregnant women in towns are opting for the practice without medical reasons which may lead to complications.
"The false myths that surround natural delivery should not be believed," Prof Stones advised women during a public lecture at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi on Saturday.
The chairperson department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Aga Khan University says that though the number of such births nationally stands at 4 per cent, towns are reporting a higher number.
"Nairobi reported 10.9 per cent compared to Nyanza which had 1.9 in the last three years," he said. Prof Stones called upon doctors to stop carrying out caesarean sections if the mother does not face any medical complications.
"I do not authorise an operation, unless it is quite necessary," said the doctor adding most mothers appreciate on being given the risks of such decisions. However, Prof Stones clarifies that there are other pain relieving procedures that a pregnant woman can request to be administered during labour.
Due to the trend, insurance companies have threatened to increase medical cover given that the procedure is more expensive than natural delivery. "It is a just case for them to increase cover but they should make it possible for a patient to access the operation on medical grounds," said Prof Stones.
He stressed the need for women to be given accurate information during antenatal clinics to avoid the myths abound natural delivery. The medical expert was also concerned about the disparities in maternal health care across the country.
He called upon health workers to provide conducive environments to pregnant women to allay fears found especially with first-time mothers.
"Allowing spouses and relatives into the delivery room could help solve anxiety issues," said Prof Stones adding research had proved that the pain was manageable in the presence of loved ones.