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Maternal Health: African mothers at high risk of death after C-section


Women in Africa who undergo caesarean section are likely to die of haemorrhage or anaesthesia complications, a new study has revealed.

The African Surgical Outcomes publication for March 15, 2019 also revealed that children born in Africa through the same procedure are more likely to be epileptic or suffer cerebral palsy than those in developed countries.

The study - conducted by the Lancet Global Heath - also states that women undergoing the procedure in African counties are 50 times likely to die than those in high-income countries. Maternal death rates after the operations, the study shows, is double the global average of 546 per 1,000 live births.

The study was conducted in 22 African countries across 183 hospitals, with Kenya among the 10 middle income countries surveyed alongside 12 low income ones.

“Maternal mortality after caesarean delivery in Africa is 50 times higher than that of high-income countries and is driven by haemorrhage and anaesthesia complications,” the study revealed.

The study revealed that one in six women developed complications following caesarean delivery, which is nearly three times the rate in United States. “Bleeding in the period shortly before, during, and immediately after giving birth, was the most common complication. And it had the highest attributable risk for maternal mortality,” the study revealed.

Neonatal mortality rates are higher among infants delivered by C-section, the survey shows. Incidences of cerebral palsy and epilepsy after a C-section is 11 times higher than in developed countries.

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