1 less than 2%
2 2% to 4.9%
3 5% to 9.9%
4 10% to 14.9%
5 15% to 24.9%
6 25% to 34.9%
7 35% or over
8 No Data
1 More than 1 in 20
2 1 in 20 to 1 to 49
3 1 in 50 to 1 in 499
4 1 in 500 to 1 in 1,999
5 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 4,999
6 Less than 1 in 5,000
7 No Data

Births by Caesarean Section

What does it mean ?

This indicator shows the number of births by caesarean section relative to all births. Birth by caesarean section requires specialist health worker skills, an operating theatre and availability of specific drugs and medical products.

Why does it matter ?

All pregnancies are associated with risk and when medically justified, a caesarean section can prevent maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. However, because any surgery carries risk of complications, caesarean sections should not be performed unless it is medically required. According to the World Health Organisation, about 10-15 % of all births require delivery by caesarean section. As such, caesarean section rates lower than 10% indicates under-use and caesarean section rates over 15 % indicate over-use. Because birth by caesarean section requires specialist medical skills and health services, this indicators is sometimes used as a proxy indicator to measure the availability of quality of maternal health services in countries where data from health information systems and health facility surveys are limited.

How is it collected ?

Data on the percent of birth by caesarean section is usually derived from large scale, nationally representative surveys such as Demographic and Health (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), other national surveys. DHS/ MICS are household surveys where women are asked if they have given birth (usually in the last three or five years) and the circumstances surrounding the birth including if they had a caesarean section.

"The Increasing Trend in Caesarean Section Rates: Global, Regional and National Estimates: 1990-2014" BetrĂ¡n, A., et al. PLoS One. 2016; 11(2): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4743929/

Lifetime Risk of Maternal Mortality (2015)

What does it mean ?

The Lifetime Risk of Maternal Mortality is the probability that a 15 year- old girl will die eventually from a maternal cause (any cause related to pregnancy, during childbirth, pregnancy or within 42 days of childbirth), assuming that current levels of fertility and mortality do not change during her lifetime. In high fertility societies the risk is higher because on average women go through the risk associated with pregnancy and childbirth many times in their life.

Why does it matter ?

Problems during pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death and disability of women of reproductive age (15-49 years) in low income countries. This indicator acts as a marker of how likely it is to face death related to pregnancy and childbirth and reflects the ability of a country's healthcare system to provide safe care during pregnancy and childbirth.

How is it collected ?

In high income countries the data for Lifetime Risk of Maternal Mortality are from national registers of deaths to women, with maternal death as the cause. Also required in the calculation is the probability of becoming pregnant (fertility rates by age).To calculate LTR, the cumulative probability over a whole life time of becoming pregnant and dying from the pregnancy is there for calculated by summing over all reproductive ages the probabilities of becoming pregnant and dying of maternal causes

Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2015 Estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division (2015) http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/monitoring/maternal-mortality-2015/en/