Sexual and reproductive health

Rising caesarean deliveries in Latin America: how best to monitor rates and risks

Policy brief

UNDP/UNFPA/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP)

Policy brief WHO/RHR/09.05

Publication details

Number of pages: 4
Publication date: 2009
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/RHR/09.05 - Web only


More and more women worldwide are delivering by caesarean section and a significant proportion of these surgical interventions are being performed without there being a clear medical indication. The rising rate of elective caesarean deliveries suggests that, in high- and middle-income countries, both health-care workers and their clients perceive the operation as a safe procedure. However, potential risks aside, the additional cost of medically unnecessary caesarean sections needs to be considered from a public health standpoint.