Some medical experts have advised that subjecting pregnant women to Cesarean Section (C.S.) surgery during child birth, should be made the last option.
Speaking in separate interviews with Correspondents of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi, Gombe, Yola, Dutse and Maiduguri, they said C.S should be necessitated by the desire to save the life of the baby, mother, or both.
Dr Kennedy Ishaya ,Gombe State Commissioner of Health said most deliveries through C.S, were planned because of medical reasons that made normal delivery, risky.
He said apart from the medical reasons, there were social factors.
According to him, some women prefer C.S to normal delivery because they cannot endure the pains of normal delivery.
Dr Alfred Masa , Obstetric Gynecologist, Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe, said every woman wanted to deliver a healthy baby, but in a situation where there was medical complications, C.S was the preferred option.
He said when a woman of 35 years and above became pregnant for the first time, chances of smooth normal delivery was limited, therefore C.S was safer.
“We call this type of babies ‘precious babies’ because chances of the woman becoming pregnant again is limited due to age, and so Doctors will do everything humanly possible to save the baby and the mother,” he explained.
He said C.S also reduced the chances of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
On his part, Dr Usaini Bala, medical personnel in Dutse, Jigawa, said C.S surgeries during child birth were carried out for obstetrics, medical, gynecological and other reasons.
For obstetrics reasons, Bala said that the large size of the baby sometimes necessitated such surgery.
“If the baby is bigger than its normal size, the mother has to go through C.S before she can deliver it.”
“Another obstetrics reason is the mal-presentation of the baby. This means that if the baby’s face comes first instead of its head during delivery, that can also necessitate delivery through C.S.
“Another reason is abnormal lying, meaning if the baby is found not to be lying with its head downward, the mother will have to also go through C.S to deliver it,” he said.
According to him, some mothers who consider their pregnancy as ‘special,’ prefer to go through C.S to deliver.
“Culturally, some mothers who conceived at an old age, prefer to go through C.S to deliver their babies.
“For instance, there was a woman who conceived at the age of 47, and decided to deliver through C.S, believing that the baby had high chances of survival if it did not come through normal delivery.
“Another reason for C.S is that women giving their first delivery at the age of between 25 and 30 are likely to encounter prolonged labour, so it is safer for such women to deliver through C.S.
“Above all, the benefit of C.S delivery, as against normal delivery, is to save life, either of the mother, the baby, or both,” he explained.
Speaking in the same manner, Dr James Akawu of the Gynecology Department of the Federal Medical Centre, Yola, said that child delivery through C.S was a solution to difficulties women encountered during child birth.
Akawu said that cases of prolonged labour during birth had increased the rate of infant and maternal mortality, a situation that was being checked through C.S delivery.
Mrs Ngozi Sani, a Senior Theatre Nurse with the Specialists’ Hospital, Yola, said that child delivery through C.S had reduced incidents of death at point of delivery, adding that the hospital had lost many women during labour, until C.S was introduced.
“Some pregnant women are ignorant of what to eat and what not to eat during pregnancy, thereby resulting in over-grown babies.
“Also, most times, lack of exercise could lead to contraction of the muscles of the womb, which can lead to experiencing a prolonged labour,” she observed.
Speaking on the issue, Bauchi State Commissioner of Health, Dr Halima Mukaddas said in spite of the challenges, cases of birth by pregnant women in the state through C.S was less than 10 per cent, which was within the WHO limit.
“C.S delivery cases are not frequent in the state; statistics of the overall birth in private and public institutions indicates not up to 10 per cent of such deliveries.
“Going by this statistic, it is still within the acceptable limit that we expect.
“Poor state of delivery, pelvic problem, prolonged labour and other health related reasons necessitate surgery at the point of delivery.
“Doctors always have to ensure that the conditions for C.S surgery have been fulfilled before they carry it out.
“When doctors decide a women should go for C.S, that does not mean that she cannot deliver by herself; what is meant is that it is not safe for her to deliver vaginally by herself,” Mukaddas explained.
She called on patients and relations to have trust in medical personnel taking such decisions, just as she advised that Doctors should ensure thorough explanation to relations when decision were taken.
On insinuations that medical personnel conduct C.S for economic gains, she said that those assumptions were ‘allegations’ that required thorough investigations for conclusions to be reached.
“I do not think trained medical personnel will just subject a woman to C.S delivery if there are no indicators, just for the sake of making money,” she said.
Also commenting on the issue, Mrs Hadiza Maikudi, officer in charge of Township Maternity, Bayan Fada area of Bauchi metropolis, noted that maternal mortality rate during child birth was high in the north east sub-region.
“Maternal mortality rate is very high, most especially here in the north-east, so if a woman encounters complication, or becomes exhausted, Doctors carry out C.S.
“Sometimes the baby too is going into exhaustion and waiting for the mother to have normal vaginal delivery may end up with complications.
“Therefore, it is better to carry out the C.S to save her life and that of the baby, to reduce the rate of mortality,” she said.
Mrs Aishatu Haruna, 40-year-old mother in Maiduguri said she preferred giving birth to her children through C.S, than normal vaginal delivery, because it was safer.
Haruna added that she and her children, aged between two and 12, enjoyed good health. (NAN)