Caesarean section or C-section delivery rate was found unacceptably high in the country, according to a latest government survey.
Some 55 per cent of births in non-slums, 51 per cent births in rest of the urban areas and 31 per cent births in slums were delivered by C-sections, says the survey report released at a dissemination seminar in the city on Tuesday.
The Urban Health Survey (UHS) 2021 also revealed that 77 per cent of facility deliveries among women in non-slums and 75 per cent of rest urban areas compared to 58 per cent in slums were done through C-sections.
"Women delivering in NGO facilities were least likely to have C-sections and those delivered in private facilities were most likely to have C-sections," the survey report said.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque attended the ceremony as the chief guest, while Secretary to the Health Services Division Anwar Hossain Howlader and Secretary to the Medical Education and Family Welfare Division Saiful Hasan Badal attended as the special guests.
DG of Directorate General of Family Planning Shahan Ara Banu, and ADG of the DGHS Dr Ahmedul Kabir were present at the function among others.
According to the report, a higher proportion of C-sections were conducted in private and public facilities relative to NGO facilities, and the median cost for C-section at private facilities was Tk 20,000 and this was Tk 15,000 at public and NGO facilities.
The survey data was collected between January 24 and June 10 in 2021.
In his speech, Zahid Maleque said exact data helps track progress and make further decisions.
Identifying challenges to the country's health sector, he said: "It gets lower budgetary allocation than necessary on one hand, and on the other, it suffers from manpower shortages."
This gap results in hampering service delivery, he said, adding that despite many odds, most of the indicators in the 2021 edition of the UHS show improvement than that of the similar surveys conducted in 2006 and 2013.