C-section in Kashmir crosses Dangerous Thresholds

Rameez Makhdoomi


Caesarean section rates in the maternity hospitals of Kashmir have witnessed an abnormal rise over the considerable period of time. The harmful effects of caesarean section rates on maternal and newborn have been found by research .  According to research ,Caesarean sections can cause significant complications, disability or death, particularly in settings that lack the facilities to conduct safe surgeries or treat potential complications.

Statistics with reference to deliveries at Kashmir’s largest Maternity Institute, Lal Ded Hospital in Srinagar clearly point out an increase in the rate of caesareans. In a decade, the percentage share of Caesarean Sections in deliveries has risen from 45 to 60 percentile.

At G B pant hospital  in the year 2014-15 more than 70  percent women have undergone Caesarean Section .Even in private hospitals of Kashmir 75 to 80 percent deliveries take place by caesarean section only. This high percentage of Caesarean section across the valley based hospitals according to medical experts is a worrying facet.

Sameena Malik, Who recently gave birth to a baby via caesarean section states- “ The fact of the matter is that both patients and doctors are equally responsible for rising caesarean sections in Kashmir. On their part ,Patients have lost the patience to bear pain and at instances the doctors also encourage caesareans.”


As a matter of fact,  higher rate of maternal morbidity is associated with Caesarean Sections compared to natural births. WHO notes a maternal mortality rate of 20 per 100,000 births with Caesarean Sections, while the figure stands at just 2.5 per 100,000 births for normal deliveries in US. Pertinently, there is a risk associated with anesthesia. Not to mention the immediate and delayed complications of surgeries.

Dr. Sameena Sultan, an eminent  gynecologist is of opinion that multiple reasons are behind rising caesarean sections in Kashmir. “ The reasons behind the upward trend in caesarean section in Kashmir are multiple- Rising age of marriage .Small family norm ,non availability of labour anesthesia and continuous fetal monitoring . Also to add to it the  fear of labor pains rising litigations against health care professionals are main reasons behind rising caesarean sections in Kashmir .”




Recently health minister of Jammu and Kashmir Choudhary Lal Singh  directed the CMOs to take measures for encouraging institutional deliveries. He expressed concern about rising number of caesarean sections being done in various health institutions. He stressed on normal deliveries and suggested rate of caesarean sections should not be more than the permissible 20 percent of all the deliveries in the hospitals.

Undoubtedly, the pulse is that all out efforts should be taken to minimize the rising caesarean sections in Kashmir Valley .