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C-Section 50 Times Deadlier For African Women – Study

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The death rate among women delivering a baby via a C-section is about 50 times higher in Africa than in most wealthy nations.

As reported in The Lancet Global Health, one in 200 women perished during or soon after a caesarean. This was discovered in a sampling of over 3,700 births across 22 African countries.

This is far from maternal mortality in Britain which is approximately one woman per 10,000 operations.

According to researchers led by Bruce Biccard, a professor at the University of Cape Town in South Africa:

“The findings highlight the urgent need for improved safety for the procedure. Improvement of C-section surgical outcomes could substantially improve both maternal and neonatal mortality.”

C-Section 50 Times Deadlier For African Women - Study

Preventable C-section deaths mostly stemmed from a ruptured uterus in mothers who had pre-existing placental complications, bleeding before birth or during surgery, and problems related to anaesthesia.

In many African nations, there is a short supply of blood for transfusions. Blood products with a greater shelf-life and better use of anaesthesia by non-doctors could also help boost survival rates.

Making C-sections more easily available could also avoid potentially lethal complications.

Of the cases examined, 75 per cent were classified as “emergency surgery”, with mothers arriving at the operating theatre with high-risk conditions.

Worldwide, the number of C-sections has nearly doubled over the last 20 years, reaching unprecedented proportions in some countries, recent research has highlighted.

In Brazil, Egypt and Turkey, for example, more than half of all births are done via C-section. But in close to a quarter of nations surveyed, use of the procedure is significantly lower than average.

In 2015, doctors performed 29.7 million C-sections worldwide — 21 per cent of all births.

This was up from 16 million in 2000, or 12 per cent of all births.

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