Download More and more women are having cesareans in Bangladesh.
There is a growing trend among some doctors and women to push for cesareans operations rather than natural births.
The Bangladesh Maternal Mortality Health Survey of 2010 shows an overall improvement in maternal health conditions but also revealed a sharp increase in cesareansection deliveries.
The figure has increased ten fold in ten years and now 66 percent of all deliveries in hospital are by cesarean.
Farzana Rupa in Dhaka finds out why.
This baby crying was born just a few minutes ago by cesarean.
The mothers didn’t know until the last minute that she needed an operation.
Rabeya Khatun came in for a regular checkup in the morning.
The doctor suddenly told her she needed to have a cesarean that day.
Her sister Rokeya was with her.
“The doctor told us if we didn’t do an immediate cesarean then the baby and the mother would be in danger. But she didn’t tell us why this critical situation was happening now? There was nothing wrong with my baby’s movement or my sister’s health. The same thing happened to me in the same hospital.”
The operation cost around 700 USD dollars, five times as much as a natural delivery at this hospital.
The Central Hospital of Dhaka’s records show that last year 66 percent births were by cesarean.
The world wide average is below 10 percent.
The chief gynecologist at this hospital Dr Samina Chowdhuary says she has more women asking to give birth this way.
“In many cases new mothers are not willing to the painful delivery process. And another argument is, most of the critical patients come to the Dhaka city hospitals for safety. So the rate is higher in the city. And there are some misconceptions about normal delivery. Some mothers think, it’s not good for the female organs. And some hospitals are doing this to earn more money.”
Golam Morshid heads the government’s research team into the issue. He saying at least 35 percent of cesareans in Bangladesh are unnecessary.
“The rich and educated people are more interested in operation. In our research 40 percent mother of cesarean groups are from elite part. Only three percent are from poor background. Only educated and rich women need cesarean, it doesn’t have scientific reasons. On the other hand poor mothers may need more operations but they couldn’t effort.”
In Pakistan and India only 10 percent of babies are born by cesarean.
Peter Kim Streatfield heads the population project at an international research institute in Dhaka.
He says cesarean births should be avoided if possible.
“Cesarean can cause of baby’s death. It creates problem on milking process. It is risky for the uterus; sometimes it can damage the uterus, and may cause permanent infertility. High dose antibiotic and injection used during operation, which is bad for mother’s health.”
Here at Ganashashka Nagar hospital doctors and midwives are fighting against the trend.
It’s a public women’s hospital
Here doctors try to deliver all babies normally. Only six to eight percent of mothers have to have a cesarean.
Lyla beguam has just given birth.
“I came to the hospitals three days before. Doctors encouraged me for the normal delivery. They said they will try first for the normal process, if it doesn’t work than operation. Finally, after two days I got my baby girl in normal delivery process.”