Globally, C-section close to double since 2000: Lancet study
The number of babies born globally through caesarean section (C-section) almost doubled between 2000 and 2015, according to a series of three papers published in The Lancet Thursday, which also shows that India has had a major increase in the number of such deliveries. A Lancet series that tracks trends in C-section use across 169 countries found an increase of 3.7 per cent each year between 2000-2015, rising from 12 per cent of live births (16 million of 131.9 million) in 2000 to 21 per cent of live births (29.7 million of 140.6 million) in 2015.

While it is estimated that 10-15 per cent of births medically require a C-section due to complications, the series’ authors estimate that most countries used C-section above the recommended level. In at least 15 countries, C-section use exceeds 40 %, lead author of the series.

In India, C-section uses increased from 9 per cent of births in 2005-6 to 18.5 per cent in 2015-16. Within the country, however, there were large differences between the rich and the poor, between the public and private sectors, and between regions. For instance, there were inter-state differences in the C-section rates in India ranging from 7 per cent in Nagaland to 49 per cent in Andhra Pradesh, according to the study.

There were also significant disparities within low- and middle-income countries, where the wealthiest women were six times more likely to have a C-section compared with the poorest women, and where C-section was 1.6 times more common in private facilities than public facilities.

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