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Spatial distribution of caesarean deliveries and their determinants in Bangladesh: evidence from linked data of population and health facility survey
Authors: Md Nuruzzaman Khan M Mofizul Islam and Shahinoor Akter
Source: Lancet Regional Health - Southeast Asia, DOI:
Topic(s): Cesarean section
Spatial analysis
Country: Asia
Published: JAN 2023
Abstract: Background: Health facility-level factors play a crucial role in women's access to and use of caesarean section (CS) services, but lacks relevant evidence. The study aimed to understand the effects of health facility-level factors on CS delivery in Bangladesh. Methods: The 2017–18 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (2017–18 BDHS) and the 2017 Bangladesh Health Facility Survey (2017 BHFS) were linked and analysed in this study. The sample comprised of 4954 women gave at least one live birth within three years preceding the survey. The outcome variable was delivery through CS (yes, no) and the explanatory variables were health facility-level, individual-level, household-level, and community-level factors. Moran's I and Getis-Ord General G statistic were used to identify the hotspots of delivery through CS. Mixed-effect multilevel logistic regression was used to examine the association of the outcome variable with explanatory variables. Findings: Around 33% of women in Bangladesh underwent CS in their most recent pregnancies. The hotspots of delivery through CS are located primarily in Rajshahi, Dhaka, and Khulna divisions. The likelihood of delivered through CS increased with the rising scores of the management (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR), 1.83; 95% CI 1.04–2.07) and infrastructure (AOR, 3.14; 95% CI 1.40–5.12) of the nearest health facility. The readiness of health facilities to provide comprehensive obstetric care was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of delivery through CS (AOR, 2.18; 95% CI 1.15–3.28). These relationships were strong for private than non-government and government health facilities. Interpretation: The proximity of comprehensive obstetric care facilities to women's residences and their readiness to provide services play critical roles in the access to and use of CS in Bangladesh. The findings highlight the importance of necessary healthcare personnel, including midwives, availability of government hospitals where undue CS are avoided, and awareness-building programmes about the adverse effects of CS delivery. Funding: None.