Cesarean section has seen an eightfold increase in Bangladesh since 2004 as private healthcare services are leading the worrying shift from normal delivery, a new study has found.
Normal delivery requires more time and effort while C-section exerts less effort taking handsome money, participants observed at an event which shared the study findings.
The overall prevalence of C-Section among Bangladeshi mothers was found to be 3.99 per cent in 2004 which jumped almost eightfold to 33.22 per cent in 2017-18, although WHO recommends that the C-section rate should not exceed 15 per cent of total birth delivery.
The study findings were disclosed at an event titled 'Massive Boom of C-Section Delivery in Bangladesh: A Household Level Analysis (2004-2018)', organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).
The event was chaired by Director General of BIDS Dr Binayak Sen while Dr Md Abdur Razzaque Sarker, Research Fellow at BIDS, presented the research findings.
The study observed that C-section delivery rate was higher in private facilities with 46.2 per cent in 2014 and 52 per cent in 2017-18 than that of public facilities with 12 per cent in 2014 and 10.6 per cent in 2017-18.
Dr Sarker observed that there is no monitoring system functioning in the healthcare system in Bangladesh. We don’t have any data to know if the previous cases of C-section were necessary.
“We don’t even have a scientific study to know if there are any health and mental effects of C-section on mother and child".
Dr Sen said that private healthcare facilities are leading the C-section and we need to know the exact information that was medically necessary to be conducted on business grounds.
The study found that the prevalence of C-section delivery was only 2.0 per cent at the rural level in 2004 where the rate jumped to 29 per cent in 2017-18. The annual percentage change of C-section delivery was 10 per cent among urban mothers while it was 21 per cent for rural mothers.
Although C-section adoption was high among urban mothers (12 per cent in 2004 and 44 per cent in 2017-18), the rural mother also availed of the C-section services alarmingly.
A total of 27,328 married women, aged 15 to 49 years, who had had a live birth in the two years preceding the survey were included in the study.
The overall out-of-pocket cost for C-section delivery is about Tk 20,000 in Bangladesh.
The average out-of-pocket cost of CS delivery was higher in private facilities (Tk 21,506) than public facilities (Tk 13,622) while about Tk 16,860 was needed for those who received CS services from NGO facilities in Bangladesh.
Participants emphasised changing the whole healthcare system, food habits and patient mental attitude toward normal delivery. It is high time for the proper authorities to implement effective national monitoring measures to put restrictions on the rising number of c-section deliveries, the study suggested.