Dorcas Makgato said doctors, especially in private practice, tend to promote C-sections and the rates have become recklessly high.
Though Makgato did not provide current statistics of surgical births in the country, she said, “C-sections must be performed only when it is necessary, but they have now become elective and fashionable”. When asked where the worrying trend is rampant, Makgato said certainly not in public health facilities. Her concern is how C-sections have become an elective procedure based on convenience instead of medical reasons.
“It happens largely in the private sector. They make more money by placing patients in the hospital, anesthesia fees and all the other charges. I am alleging it is a money spinner because I used to be in a certain Board of medical aid company, so I know the fees,” she said, adding that this is an area they are looking at with interest, with prospects of regulation.
“We have already engaged private practitioners to register our displeasure at the trend,” she added.
mothers value their breasts and “don’t want to risk losing their cleavages”.
Health experts have warned against unnecessary c-sections because of increased risk to the mother, child, and future pregnancies, in both the short and long term The minister was responding to challenges in the public health system at a media briefing by the WHO concluding the visit by Africa regional director for the UN entity, Dr Matshidiso Moeti.
A seasoned health practitioner, Moeti is worried by high mortality rates, which she said were worrisome for a country of Botswana’s status. As at 2015, the maternal mortality ratio stood at 127 per 100,000 live births. The ministry’s target is to 82 per 100,000 live births. It has been found out that one leading cause of maternal deaths in the country is excessive bleeding suffered from backstreet abortions.
From her reflections from site visits at a number of public health facilities, Dr Moeti told attends at her public lecture last Wednesday that botched c-sections are also a maternal health problem. She recommends that practitioners be more skilled and provided with the right infrastructure for effective health care delivery.