Cesarean Section Rates and Indications in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Multi-Country Study from Medecins sans Frontieres

  • K. C
  • H. C
  • F. M
  • et al.
Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.


Objectives: The World Health Organization considers Cesarean section rates of 5-15% to be the optimal range for targeted provision of this life saving intervention. However, access to safe Cesarean section in resource-limited settings is much lower, estimated at 1-2% reported in sub-Saharan Africa. This study reports Cesarean sections rates and indications in Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and Sierra Leone, and describe the main parameters associated with maternal and early neonatal mortality. Methods: Women undergoing Cesarean section from August 1 2010 to January 31 2011 were included in this prospective study. Logistic regression was used to model determinants of maternal and early neonatal mortality. Results: 1276 women underwent a Cesarean section, giving a frequency of 6.2% (range 4.1-16.8%). The most common indications were obstructed labor (399, 31%), poor presentation (233, 18%), previous Cesarean section (184, 14%), and fetal distress (128, 10%), uterine rupture (117, 9%) and antepartum hemorrhage (101, 8%). Parity >6 (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 8.6, P = 0.015), uterine rupture (aOR = 20.5; P =. 010), antepartum hemorrhage (aOR = 13.1; P =. 045), and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia (aOR = 42.9; P =. 017) were associated with maternal death. Uterine rupture (aOR = 6.6, P<0.001), anterpartum hemorrhage (aOR = 3.6, P<0.001), and cord prolapse (aOR = 2.7, P = 0.017) were associated with early neonatal death. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that target Cesarean section rates can be achieved in sub-Saharan Africa. Identifying the common indications for Cesarean section and associations with mortality can target improvements in antenatal services and emergency obstetric care. 2012 Chu et al.




K., C., H., C., F., M., T., M., N., F., & M., T. (2012). Cesarean Section Rates and Indications in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Multi-Country Study from Medecins sans Frontieres. PLoS ONE. K. Chu, Medecins sans Frontieres, Johannesburg, South Africa. E-mail: kathryn.chu@joburg.msf.org: Public Library of Science (185 Berry Street, Suite 1300, San Francisco CA 94107, United States). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObjectAttachment.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0044484&representation=PDF

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free