Medical Practitioners should not mislead pregnant women to opt for the knife-July 2010

Medical practitioners should not mislead pregnant women to go for caesarean deliveries for their (doctors)
personal gain.

Some sections of the media recently reported that the number of Caesarean deliveries is escalating at an
alarming rate in this country owing to doctors misleading pregnant women into opting for the knife.
According to their investigations, doctors are encouraging pregnant mothers to opt for caesarean surgery
for profiteering purposes of which hospitals, especially privately owned, are said to be reaping handsome
returns from the growing trend.

The number of caesarean deliveries are said to have risen four times to a shocking 70 percent in a month
according to data from health insurance providers, which was shared with the media. The reports also
state that the payment for a caesarean surgery in middle class private owned hospitals is between Tshs 1.5
million and Tshs 2.5 million, while normal deliveries cost between Tshs 500,000 and Tshs 700,000.

Sikika discovered that though the media quoted recommendations by the World Health Organization
(WHO) that only 15 percent of all births should be done through the knife, the WHO recently dropped these
recommendations arguing that there was no evidence for placing a limit. The WHO now states that “there
is no empirical evidence for an optimum percentage

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