The Odisha government has announced to audit Caesarean section (C-section) delivery cases in all private hospitals.
The decision to audit childbirth was taken after the government observed a sharp increase in caesarean deliveries between National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 of 2015-16 and NFHS-5 of 2019-21.
“During this period, C-section increased from 53.7% to 70.7% which was higher than the ideal C-section rate recommended by the WHO panel of reproductive child health,” said State Health and Family Welfare department.
According to the department, the WHO panel after re-examining the C-section rate in 2015, also mentioned that at the population level, caesarean section rates higher than 10% were not associated with reductions in maternal and new born mortality rates. It prompted the State government to address the cause of C-section rise in the State.
The Director of Family Welfare issued instructions to all Chief District Medical and Public Health Officers in this regard. They were asked to ensure the implementation of the audit in their respective jurisdiction from May 1 of the current year.
The audit is being carried out in all government health facilities.
3 prototype formats
According to the department, for C-section audit in all private health facilities, three different prototype audit formats were worked out and circulated to all districts.
All CDMOs were asked to designate a programme officer for coordinating with private health facilities regarding proper implementation of the audit as the outcome would be helpful in making the reproductive child health care more effective in the coming years.
In 2021-22, as high as 74.62% of deliveries conducted in private hospitals were C-section. A year ago in 2020-21, it was 64.67%. In sharp contrast, 16.88% of deliveries conducted in public facilities were C-section in 2021-22. In 2020-21, it was 14.77%.
It was alleged that private hospital managements persuaded parents to go for C-section deliveries as operations fetched a good amount of money.