A major new study has found that 300,000 women around the world – almost all of them in developing countries – are dying every year as a result of having caesarean sections.

The research, led by Queen Mary University in London, is believed to be the most comprehensive into the issue ever carried out.

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The researchers analysed data from 12 million pregnancies. And they found that the risk of death from caesarean sections in developing countries was far higher than they’d expected.

The common procedure is frequently used to save the lives of mothers and their babies.


But in many areas, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, it’s turning out to be fatal.

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The number of women dying in this region is 100 times higher than in wealthy countries like the UK.

And 10% of all babies die during or shortly after caesarean sections.

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The authors of the study – published in the British magazine, The Lancet

  • are calling for women in the affected countries to have better access to surgery carried out by skilled medical staff to ensure the operations are safe.