CAIRO - 21 September 2022: Egypt has announced an initiative titled the "Golden Thousand Days" that encourages doctors for natural child birth instead of cesarean section, and holds trainings to medical staff in this regard.
The initiative has stipulated that financial incentives for doctors will be increased for applying natural child births the same as cesarean delivery.
The initiative came in response to the high rate of caesarean section reaching more than 72 percent of the total number of births in Egypt. The ministry is concerned with the high number, as most of the births could have been replaced by natural childbirth.
Dr. Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Population, said that the caesarean section, coupled with repeated births, leads to an increase in the child's chance to enter into the nursery immediately after birth.
"Many caesarean sections are not justified, children enter nurseries, and there is a high rate of autism, as caesarean section affects the health of the mother and child," the spokesperson added, explaining that the rates of cesarean delivery globally are 20%.
He continued saying, "the financial incentive is the reason for doctors' demand for cesarean deliveries, and we have started training nursing members in (midwifery) so that there is a sufficient number of nurses who are able to deliver women according to the guidelines."
Dr. Hossam Abdel Ghaffar said: “In private hospitals, the patient’s file must have a medical reason for the caesarean section, and we will follow up on the medical records, adding: “The Ministry of Health has started training members of the nursing staff in hospitals through the (midwifery) program to qualify them to play the role of (midwife), who played a major role in the process of natural childbirth, and indeed the first class graduated two weeks ago in North Sinai.”
He explained that one of the most important reasons for the increase in caesarean section rates is the high fees of the medical staff in such operations, and then the ministry’s decision, under the directives of the Minister of Health, was that the value of the wage be equal in both natural and cesarean deliveries.
Dr. Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Population, said: "We aim to reduce the rates of the unexplained caesarean sections, in exchange for an increase in the demand for natural births, in the context of preserving the health of the mother and fetus, and improving the general health of citizens."
Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, the official spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Population, explained that the new directives include:
1- Equality of fees for doctors and medical staff in natural births, similar to caesarean sections.
2- Allocating a financial incentive to the medical team that achieves higher rates of natural birth.
3- Develop legislation that guarantees the right of the doctor, midwife or nurse to implement natural births during the occurrence of minor side effects.
4- Organizing periodic trainings for in-service medical teams, with directing those in charge of government and private medical facilities, to collect health information and routine data on caesarean sections and their causes, to achieve data governance, and analyze all causes of caesarean sections.
5- Requiring all private and governmental hospitals to work with the guidelines related to the reasons and controls for resorting to caesarean section.
6- Doing questionnaires and studies in residential areas, to find out the data that helps in improving ways to encourage pregnant women to adopt the idea of natural births.
7- Holding community discussions on the harms of cesarean deliveries, and increasing psychological education sessions for women who suffer from fear of pain.
8- Activating the role of civil society to participate in the consolidation of correct concepts about natural birth and its benefits for the mother and child, and the harms of cesarean delivery “without medical justification.”