Trend and socio-demographic differentials of Caesarean section rate in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: analysis based on Ethiopia demographic and health surveys data

Reprod Health. 2014;11(1):14. doi: 10.1186/1742-4755-11-14.


Background: According to the World Health Organization, Caesarean Section (CS) rate (percentage of births managed by CS) exceeding 15% lacks medical justification and it could be linked with adverse maternal and child health consequences. Nonetheless, the rate in Addis Ababa city is beyond the aforementioned level. The objectives of the study were to assess the trend and socio-demographic differentials of CS rate in the city.

Methods: The study was made based on the three Ethiopia Demographic and Health Surveys (EDHS) data (EDHS 2000, 2005 and 2011). The trend over the period of 1995–2010 was assessed using simple linear regression analysis whereas the differentials of CS rate were identified based on DHS 2011 data. CS rates were compared across categories of various socio-economic variables using chi-square test.

Results: The CS rate increased significantly from 2.3% in 1995–1996 to 24.4% in 2009–2010. From 2003 onwards, it persisted above 15%. The rates among women with secondary (32.3%) or higher (33.3%) levels of education were nearly two times higher than the corresponding figures in the illiterates (14.8%) and women with primary education (15.8%) (P < 0.001). The level among women from the ‘rich’ households (28.6%) was higher than those from the ‘poor’ (16.4%) and ‘middle’ (19.5%) households (P = 0.016). The rate also significantly increased with rising parity (P = 0.023). The rate among women who delivered in private health institutions (41.7%) was twice higher than their counterparts who delivered in public institutions (20.6%).

Conclusion: The CS rate in Addis Ababa has exceeded beyond the level recommended by the WHO. Accordingly, It should be maintained within the optimum 5-15% range by introducing medical audit for labor management both in the private and public health institutions.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ethiopia
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / trends*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • World Health Organization