Saturday, July 4, 2015

Childbirth Around the World: Chad

This week we were asked to choose a country and see how births happen there.

I chose the country of Chad, located in Africa. According to Kathleen Berger in our text this week, Chad has the lowest percentage of deliveries by c-section, less then half of 1%. This almost seemed celebrated in our text, especially when it was compared to the United States' 34% or Brazil's 45%. Because I delivered via c-section, I thought this would be a good country to explore.

In 2005 BBC Panorama films put out a documentary "Dead Mothers Don't Cry" about the country of Chad and their mortality rates in maternity wards. This documentary has spurred on the creation of several non-profits to come in and help Chad. As of 2013, Chad's infant mortality rate was 91.94 (meaning 91.94 infants our of 1,000 infants die every year) where the United State's infant mortality rate was 5.4. In 2010 Chad's IMR was 131.17, ranking them at 186 of 188 in the world with the best IMR. So thankfully there has been some improvement in their IMR rating, partially in thanks to the documentary. How can their low percentage of c-section rates be celebrated in light of their extremely high IMR?

In Chad, there are not enough skilled personal in attendance for labor and deliveries. This is one reason why there are not very many c-sections performed in Chad, there are not enough medical professionals in Chad that can perform them. In Chad, according to the World Health Organization in 2013 only 23.7% of births had a skilled professional in attendance for the birth. Also very few pregnancies in Chad are monitored throughout the length of their pregnancy. According to UNICEF in 2010 only 18% of pregnancies were monitored. Less monitoring means that particular health needs that arise in death during labor or birth could have been prevented if they had been known.

For me, I've always thought wow I'm so glad I live in this day and age where when I needed a c-section for my own personal health I was able to have one. I did not factor in that other countries in this same day and age are still not able to have c-sections if they needed one. This has really put into perspective for me that developing nations are still not in the same category as we are in the health department, especially in labor and delivery. I think the biggest impact this makes on child development is that in Chad from 2013 for every 1,000 families there are 91.9 that are missing a family member. That many families are going on without their child, sister or brother, or without their mom or wife. Those children were not given the ability to develop and some of those families of other children now have to develop without their mother's influence, which has a huge impact on the development of those children.

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