Indonesia’s high rate of c-sections raises concerns

  • Indonesia
  • Wednesday, 11 Dec 2019

JAKARTA: For Sari Tjakrawiralaksana, 42, the pain of giving birth to her son 10 years ago did not only stem from post-caesarean wounds, but also remarks from relatives.

“Ten years ago, mothers giving birth through caesarean section (c-section) of their own will were not seen as being whole mothers, ” she told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

She recalled her long wait for any cervix dilation which never came.

After consulting with her husband and mother, she told her doctor to proceed with the surgery.

“The decision to doo a c-section will never be easy. Our consideration at the time were only my son’s condition and myself, as I was already exhausted, ” she said.

Despite the stigma that is often attached to it, c-section births are getting more common in Indonesia.

Last year, 17.6% of all births were delivered through c-section, according to the Basic Health Research (Riskesdas), a steady rise from 15.3% in 2010, higher than the World Health Organisation’s estimation of 10% to 15% of all births

The rising trend of c-sections in Indonesia has put much pressure on the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan), which manages the national health insurance (JKN) programme.

C-sections accounted for 57% of all 5.3 million hospital deliveries under the JKN scheme recorded between 2014 and 2018, costing the BPJS Rp15.75 trillion (RM4.68bil) compared to the Rp4.9 trillion (RM1.46bil) it spent on natural deliveries.The high prevalence of c-section deliveries raised concerns from Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto, who highlighted the need for the BPJS and hospitals to be more selective in carrying out c-sections amid severe financial deficits.

The ministry’s researcher on maternal health, Suparmi, found some expecting mothers opted for a c-section over fear of birth pain or due to wanting certain birth dates.

“The WHO ideal range is based on the idea that any rate higher than that does not appear to reduce maternal and newborn mortality. — The Jakarta Post/ANN

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