The Unicef research found that weak public health infrastructure, a mushrooming private health sector and social prestige behind the rapid increase in C-sections in the state
Caesarean sections (C-sections) are becoming the new normal in Telangana, with the state seeing a sharp rise in this method of delivering babies in recent years, a study commissioned by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has found.
There were several reasons for the high incident of Caesarean cases in Telangana, according to BR Shamanna, in-charge of the study and professor at University of Hyderabad’s School of Medical Science.
Though weak public health infrastructure, coupled with a mushrooming private health sector was a major reason, families were also opting for C-sections by choice, the study said.
A C-section delivery was as a prestige issue in Telangana society as having one’s daughter or daughter-in-law undergo it meant that a family had taken real care of her, it said.
After talking to several families, researchers found that couples had lesser children and that too at a later date. They thus wanted to ensure that deliveries were safe. Not just a woman’s nuptial family but her natal one too desired a painless and safe delivery. Hence, the increase in C-sections.
Unicef commissioned the study after a number of reports showed that C-section had become the norm in most of Telangana.
Fifty-eight per cent of deliveries in the state were C-section ones, the latest National Family Health Survey reported in 2016. Seventy-five per cent of total deliveries taking place in Telangana’s private sector were via C-section, it found.
The state saw a sharp increase in the number of C-sections in the last few years, a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) found in 2017. C-sections increased from 33 per cent in 2013-14 to 45 per cent during 2016-17 in Telangana, the report said.
While 33 per cent of deliveries in Telangana’s public health facility centres were C-sections, the number was 67 per cent in private hospitals, the CAG report showed.
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