36 percent of births in Vietnam by cesarean section: WHO

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Thirty six percent of deliveries in Vietnam are done by cesarean operations, the second highest rate among nine Asian countries surveyed by the World Health Organization.

China topped the region with 46.2 percent of births delivered by cesarean section, according to the agency’s report published online Tuesday in the medical journal The Lancet.

Overall, the survey on maternal and perinatal health in Asia covered 122 Asian facilities, each of which saw over 1,000 births a year. It found that more than one in four women underwent caesarean sections.

Facilities in China, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Thailand had higher rates of caesarean sections than those in Cambodia, India, Japan, Nepal, and the Philippines.

However, the survey found that many women employed the method even if it was not needed.

In fact, China had the highest rate of caesarean sections without indication (11.7 percent), followed by Vietnam (1 percent), and Sri Lanka (0.8 percent), according to the survey.

While more and more women were choosing cesarean for several factors, including the perception of increased safety, the unnatural method “had significantly increased risk of admission to ICU compared with spontaneous vaginal delivery,” the United Nations agency said.

Cesarean sections also posed increased risks of maternal mortality and morbidity, and put babies in neonatal ICU for 7 days or longer, it noted in the report.

WHO said the survey was conducted in 2007-2008 at random Asian countries as the third phase of global survey which aimed to estimate the rate of different methods of delivery and to examine the relation between delivery method and maternal and perinatal outcomes in selected facilities.

It already conducted similar surveys in Africa and Latin America in 2004 and 2005.

Source: Thanh Nien

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