Concern regarding Rising Caesarean Section (CS) Rates

Government of West Bengal
Department of Health & Family Welfare
State Family Welfare Bureau
Swasthya Bhawan
GN 29, Sector V, Salt Lake, Kolkata- 700091

Memo No. H/SFWB/21C-01-2011/5436(2) Date: 29.09.2015

1. The Principal
All Medical Colleges, West Bengal.

2. The CMOH
All Districts, West Bengal.

Subject – Concern regarding rising Caesarean Section rates.


Concern has been raised by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India, regarding rising Caesarean Section (CS) rates especially when it is medically not indicated, thus exposing the pregnant women and babies to potential harm.

You are aware of the efforts are being made to operationalize FRUs/ CEmOC centres with proper geographical distribution for providing comprehensive obstetric care and essential new born care services, which will help in reduction of maternal and neo-natal mortality and morbidities.

WHO in its statement of Caesarean Section rates released in April, 2015 has emphasized that Caesarean Sections are effective in saving maternal and infant lives, but only when they are conducted for medically indicated reasons. Every effort should be made to provide CS to women in need of it. WHO further informs that at population level, the CS rates higher that 10% are not associated with reductions in maternal and new born mortality rates.

Enclosed herewith, please find a copy of ‘WHO Statement on Caesarean Section Rates‘.

It is requested that this WHO statement be shared and discussed with the Obstetricians and Gynecologist working in the Govt. health facilities, which would guide them in taking a conscious decision on CS when clinically indicated.

It is also suggested that CMOH, being the license issuing authority under the CE Act, may conduct periodic prescription audits in the private sector to deliver quality services. The same may also be done in Govt. health facilities in the State

Enclosed: As stated.

Yours faithfully,

Commissioner (FW) & Secretary to the
Government of West Bengal

No. H/SFWB/5436 dated 29.09.2015, Source