Conference on WHO recommendations on non-clinical interventions to reduce unnecessary caesarean section

WHO/Olga Kireeva

13–14 December 2018, Tbilisi, Georgia

In an attempt to reduce unnecessary caesarean sections (CS), WHO/Europe has convened an international conference of key stakeholders working in maternal and perinatal health, health policy-making and health systems.

This is a follow-up to the adoption of the new WHO recommendations on non-clinical interventions to reduce unnecessary caesareans. The WHO optimal CS rate was initially recommended as 10–15% in 1985, and was reiterated in 2015. Nevertheless, the average rate of CS in the European Region is 25%; with one third of countries having CS rates over 25%.

Attendees will discuss the new WHO recommendations and assess the current country situation, identifying the main factors in the unnecessary use of CS, including factors related to health systems. The conference will also result in the identification of research gaps, the sharing of innovative policies and models, and the adoption of a statement which affirms countries’ commitment to use CS for medically justified reasons.

In 2016, countries in the Region adopted the Action Plan for Sexual and Reproductive Health. Efforts must continue to be taken to eliminate avoidable maternal and perinatal deaths and illness.