When Giving Birth Becomes a Question of Profit

A Caesarean section is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through an opening in the mother's lower abdomen rather than through the vaginal canal. Some pregnant women choose to have the procedure done but many caesareans happen because of complications during pregnancy or labour. Caesarean section use continues to rise globally, now accounting for more than 1 in 5 (21%) of all childbirths. In Uganda, many doctors are violating ethics to induce demand for C-section among expectant mothers for monetary gain despite the health risks the procedure presents, new research from a Makerere University lecturer indicates. As high as 98,000 of 1.4 million babies born in Uganda annually are now being delivered through caesarean section, according to government statistics. This represents about 7%, which is a sharp increase when compared with 1995 statistics where C-section births accounted for only 2.5 percent of the country's births. In South Africa, data from Medscheme shows that C-section deliveries were more than double that of vaginal births between 2016 and 2020 among medically insured, child-bearing South African women. Access to C-sections remains a challenge in many low-income countries, particularly for poor women especially in sub-Saharan Africa. This means that poorer women - and their babies - are at a higher risk of dying during childbirth if there are complications.

Childbirth, C-section.

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