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Uganda: Government questions high rate of C-section births

Kampala. The Health ministry has raised questions on whether the marked increase in delivery of babies by caesarean at private-for-profit and private-not-for-profit hospitals is commercially-motivated or out of medical necessity.

“The number of caesarian sections are very high and the question is: could it be for commercial purposes because you pay more than the normal deliveries?

All these questions need to be answered,” Dr Henry Mwebesa, the acting director general Health Services, said while presenting the Annual Health Sector Performance report on Tuesday.

Private hospitals in the country on average charge at least Shs500,000 for normal deliveries compared to C-section delivery that costs triple or four-fold higher.

The Health ministry report released on Tuesday indicates that the average rate of C-sections in the general hospitals have within a year increased by three percentage points to 28 per cent from the 2016/17.
Nakasero Hospital in Kampala recorded the highest rise.

Regional referral hospitals within the same period registered a 3.4 percentage point rise in deliveries by C-section.

St Francis Nsambya and Rubaga hospitals, both church-run private-not-for-profit facilities in the capital, categorised by Health ministry as regional referral hospitals, top in delivery of babies through C-section, according to the report.

Gulu Regional Referral Hospital on the other hand had the lowest C-section deliveries at 12.3 per cent.
Mukono, St Paul, Mpigi, Rwekubo and Kyegegwa health centre IVs had the highest deliveries by C-section.

Dr Charles Kiggundu, a consultant gynaecologist at Mulago National Referral Hospital, said the higher figures likely indicate that more expectant women with complications now give birth at hospitals.

“Women who go to hospitals are those who identify themselves as requiring C-section. The figures do not reflect those women in communities who do not produce in hospitals,” he said by telephone.

It is unclear if Ugandan experts have done a research on the impact on women of deliveries by C-section, which some families — especially those with means — prefer for its perceived safety.

By Daily Monitor

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