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Global Health
May 21, 2019

Sky-High Mortality Rates From Cesarean Delivery in Africa

JAMA. 2019;321(19):1861. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.6187

Women in Africa are 50 times more likely to die as a result of a cesarean delivery as women in high-income countries, a team of investigators from several African countries has reported. Neonates fare poorly, too. Their mortality rate after cesarean delivery is high—44 per 1000 live births.

The researchers conducted a 7-day prospective cohort study involving nearly 3700 women who underwent cesarean deliveries in 183 hospitals located in 22 African countries. The study included women from 12 low-income countries including Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda as well as 10 middle-income countries such as Algeria, Ghana, and Nigeria. Each country selected a single recruitment week between February and May 2016 for the study.

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