Most women in urban areas deliver through Cesarean section, a report by the Kenya National Bureau of Standards (KNBS) shows.
The report was filed after a joint survey conducted by KNBS and the Ministry of Health.
According to the report, women delivering through cesarean sections in hospitals has nearly doubled in the last eight years. It went up from the initial 9 percent in 2014 to 17 percent in 2022.
A cesarean section is a surgical procedure involving the incision of a mother’s abdomen and uterus to deliver one or more babies.
Additionally, the report reveals that cesarean deliveries are more prevalent in urban areas (24 per cent) than in rural areas (12 per cent).
Out of the women who delivered through cesarean,28 percent of them were attended to in health facilities managed by faith-based organizations and the private medical sector (28 pc) while 15 percent were done in public health facilities.
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Hence,33 percent of live births for women in the highest wealth in one of five(quantile) were delivered by Cesarean compared to five percent of the births for women in the lowest wealth quintile.
The report also shows that the percentage of live births delivered by cesarean section decreased with increasing birth order, from 20 percent among first-order births to 5 percent among sixth or higher-order births.
However, the percentage of live births increased with the number of Anti Natal Care visits from four percent among women with no ANC visits to 19 percent among women with four or more visits.
Similarly, the percentage of live births through cesarean increased with the mother’s level of education from 3 percent for uneducated mothers to 34 percent for those with postsecondary education.
The report has further indicated that delivery via cesarean has gone higher than the expected limit of 15 percent in 19 counties.
According to the WHO, the optimal population-level cesarean section rate should be within the range of 10–15 percent based on medical indications.
The counties with higher limits include Kirinyaga (40pc), Kiambu (33pc), TharakaNithi (30pc), Nairobi City (28pc), and Taita Taveta (27pc) counties. While the lowest counties with the lowest cesarean delivery rates are Wajir (2pc), Mandera (4pc), Turkana (4pc), and Samburu (5pc).