The caesarean section rate: Much ado about nothing?

Sumaiya Adam


In 1985, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that population-based caesarean section (CS) rates should be between 10 and 15%. This recommendation was based on expert consensus opinion in response to what was considered an unjustified increase in the CS rate. Since then, more recent reports of international CS rates have vared between 6 and 27%, depending on the population studied. Ecological studies in the last decade have not been able to determine the ‘perfect’ CS rate, with some studies estimating that it is below, while others reporting it to be above, the hallowed 15%.

Author's affiliations

Sumaiya Adam, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Steve Biko Academic Hospital, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2018;24(3):68. DOI:10.7196/sajog.1524

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-11-27
Date published: 2019-11-27

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