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Trend and Sociodemographic Correlates of Cesarean Section Utilization in Nepal: Evidence from Demographic and Health Surveys 2006-2016
Authors: Kiran Acharya and Yuba Raj Paudel
Source: BioMed Research International, DOI: 10.1155/2021/8888267
Topic(s): Cesarean section
Country: Asia
Published: MAY 2021
Abstract: Background: Addressing inequalities in accessing emergency obstetric care is crucial for reducing the maternal mortality ratio. This study was undertaken to examine the time trends and sociodemographic correlates of cesarean section (CS) utilization in Nepal between 2006 and 2016. Methods. Data from the Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys (NDHS) 2006, 2011, and 2016 were sourced for this study. Women who had a live birth in the last five years of the survey were the unit of analysis for this study. Absolute and relative inequalities in CS utilization were expressed in terms of rate difference and rate ratios, respectively. We used multivariable regression models to assess the CS rate by background sociodemographic characteristics of women. Results: Age and parity-adjusted CS rates were found to have increased almost threefold (from 3.2%, 95% CI: 2.1-4.3 in 2006 to 10.5%; 95% CI: 8.9-11.9 in 2016) over the decade. In 2016, women from mountain region (3.0%), those from the lowest wealth quintile (2.4%), and those living in Karnali province (2.4%) had CS rate below 5%. Whereas women from the highest wealth quintile (25.1%), with higher education (21.2%), and those delivering in private facilities (37.1%) had CS rate above 15%. Women from the highest wealth quintile (OR-3.3; 95% CI: 1.6-7.0) compared to women from the lowest wealth quintile and those delivered in private/NGO-run facilities (OR-3.6; 95% CI: 2.7-4.9) compared to women delivering in public facilities were more than three times more likely to deliver by CS. Conclusion: To improve maternal and newborn health, strategies need to be revised to address the underuse of CS among poor, those living in mountain region and Province 2, Lumbini province, Karnali province, and Sudhurpaschim province. Simultaneously, there is a pressing need for policies, guidelines, and continuous monitoring of CS rates to reduce overuse among rich women, women with higher education, and those giving childbirth in private facilities.