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  • Writer's pictureKay Sandberg

C-sections can contribute to higher mortality rates in Sub Saharan Africa

Updated: Apr 18, 2019

Photo courtesy of Shanti Uganda, a network partner

A recently published article in The Lancet contains the analysis of data from 196 studies from 67 low- and middle- income countries (LMIC) covering 12 million pregnancies to January 1, 1990 through November 20, 2017. The study concludes that maternal death after caesarean section in LMIC is 100 times higher than in some high-income countries. And sadly, a third of those babies by c-section in LMIC do not survive.

According to the study, maternal deaths occurred in 7.6 per 1000 c-sections in LMIC. In Sub-Saharan African, the maternal mortality rate is as high as 1 death in 100 c-sections. Tragically, eight percent of these babies will also die within a week. Factors such as poor access, late referral, inappropriate referrals, poor resources and training contribute to an operation that in intended to save a mother and baby to the death of one or both; too little, too much, too early and/or too late.

World map of maternal death risk following c-section in women from LMIC*

As we strive to bring attention to these unacceptable statistics, we also highlight our network partners in Sub Saharan Africa and the work being done to improve the healthcare for mamas and infants. Our network partners share the common goal of reducing global maternal, infant and child mortality rates for LMICs. Shanta Uganda and Sunrise Centre in Uganda provide families with affordable healthcare services and women with a safe birthing environment. Cameroon Agenda for Sustainable Development has impacted millions of lives by providing accurate sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education and advocates for its inclusion in local, national and international development agenda and pushes for implementation of actions at all levels to make the SRH situation of women and adolescents better. Coming soon an update blog post on CASD's remarkable progress!

We encourage you to visit our partner websites to see the amazing work that is being done to improve the lives of families. For additional information about our Compassionate Birth Network visit:

*Sobhy, S., Arroyo-Manzano, D., Murugesu, N., Karthikeyan, G., Kumar, V., Kaur, I., Fernandez, E., Rao Gundabattula, S., Pilar Betran, A., Khan, K., Zamora,J.,Thangaratinam, S. (2019, March 28). Maternal and perinatal mortality and complications associated with caesarean section in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet. Retrieved from S0140-6736(18)32386-9.

By guest blog writer, Vanessa Jackson



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