World Health Organization warns against unnecessary C-section


The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a global warning asking women to refrain from unnecessary Cesarean section (C-section) to give birth.

Dr. Marleen Temmerman, Director of WHO’s Reproductive Health Department“In a lot of developing and developed countries, there is really an epidemic of Cesarean sections, even when there is no medical need,” said Marleen Temmerman, the director of the WHO’s reproductive health department.

In countries like Brazil, where some 53 percent of births are by C-section according to WHO figures, “there is a culture of ‘let’s go for Cesarean,’” Temmerman added.

The WHO official went on to say, “We see women dying” in some countries because pregnant women with a real medical need for a C-section simply do not have access to the operation.

Cesarean delivery is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and a second incision in the mother’s uterus. A C-section might be planned ahead of time if the mother develops pregnancy complications or has had a previous C-section.

Gynecological studies suggest that the ideal rate of C-section should range between 10 and 15 percent in a country.

According to the WHO, in 2008, approximately one out of four births in Europe were by C-section, about one-third in North and South America, and also one-fourth in the Western Pacific. However, in Africa and Southeast Asia, the C–section rates ranged between 3.8 and 8.8 percent.

Following the warning, WHO perinatal expert Metin Gulmezoglu said, “This is the first time we are being so explicit about it.”


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