PERCEPTION AND ACCEPTANCE OF CAESAREAN SECTION AMONG PREGNANT WOMEN IN IUTH OKADA, EDO STATE
BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Maternal mortality represents the leading cause of death among the pregnant women in most developing countries including Nigeria (Mekonnen and Mekonnen, 2003; WHO, 2007). Furthermore, it is estimated that one third of all maternal deaths globally occur in just two countries, namely India and Nigeria (Mboho et al 2013). According to UNFPA (2012), in 2010, India was accountable for about 20% of global maternal deaths (56,000) and Nigeria, 14% (40,000). Meanwhile, disease, deformity and death are terms usually employed to describe the experiences of a vast majority of sub-Saharan African women during pregnancy and birthing (Harrison, 2001; Brookman-Amissah and Moyo, 2004; WHO, 2004a). Similarly, the majority of African women are often viewed as being at high risk of infections, injury and death during pregnancy and the periods surrounding it (Izugbara and Ukwayi, 2007). In recent time women in Nigeria have expressed worries about choices of childbirth especially the issues surrounding vaginal birth. The joy of every woman is to deliver her baby normally. Some decades ago the most available or preferred option for most women was vaginal birth. Some of the women had their babies at home with traditional birth attendants but quite often with difficult labour resulting from obstruction and the women died before any meaningful interventions. Today, however, many babies have been delivered successfully through caesarean section. This success story in not without criticism. Among women in the developing countries, caesarean section is still being perceived as a ‘curse’ of an unfaithful woman (Adeoye and Kalu 2011). The authors further assert that caesarean section is seen among weak women. In addition, caesarean section is surrounded with suspicion, aversion, misconception, fear, guilt, misery and anger among the women of South Western Nigeria (Adeoye and Kalu 2011). Furthermore, in most sub-Saharan African countries including Nigeria, caesarean section is being accepted reluctantly even in the face of obvious clinical indication (Adeoye and Kalu 2011).