Labouring to bring change: 1.6 lakh people support petition to end unnecessary C-section deliveries
Mumbai city news: A response to an RTI query revealed that private hospitals in Mumbai performed 200% more C-section deliveries than govt hospitalsmumbai Updated: Jun 28, 2017 20:23 IST
The virtual fight against rampant caesarean-section deliveries just got a boost. As many as 1.6 lakh people now support #SafeBirth, an online petition launched in January by Mumbai research scholar Subarna Ghosh. Citing the physical and mental stress she suffered after undergoing an allegedly unnecessary C-section delivery, Ghosh has asked the state government to make it mandatory for all hospitals to act against doctors who frequently perform such surgeries.
A response to a right to information (RTI) query filed by Ghosh last year revealed that private hospitals in Mumbai performed 200% more C-section deliveries than government hospitals. Such deliveries doubled from 16.7% in 2010 to 32.1% in 2015.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that C-section deliveries account for just 10% to 15% of the total deliveries in a country.
“I had a long and painful recovery after doctors needlessly recommended that I undergo a C-section surgery to deliver my baby. Recent studies indicate that C-sections lead to a higher risk of post-partum depression and lower breastfeeding rate in women. It is also linked to diseases such as obesity and diabetes in children,” said Ghosh.
She added that despite its adverse effects on mother and child health, hospitals and doctors indiscriminately conduct C-sections as they are time-saving and profitable.
Ghosh’s petition even attracted the attention of Maneka Gandhi, Union cabinet minister for women and child development. “It must be made mandatory for hospitals and nursing homes to publicly display the number of C-section deliveries they conduct in comparison to normal deliveries. In collaboration with the health ministry, the women and child development ministry plans to undertake a large outreach campaign with the medical community and prospective mothers,” said Gandhi.
As many as 24 Mumbai hospitals recognised by the central government health scheme (CGHS) are likely to start declaring the number of C-section deliveries they have performed soon.
The petition also demands stringent action against doctors and hospitals which perform more C-section deliveries as against natural ones. “I’m a member of NGO Birth India, which has called for a convention of countries’ most brilliant minds to come together and create a framework for the welfare of pregnant woman. Hopefully, the state’s public health department, taking a leaf out of CGHS, will soon implement guidelines to curb the practice of unneeded C-section deliveries,” said Ghosh.