Cesarean sections among Syrian refugees in Lebanon from December 2012/January 2013 to June 2013: Probable causes and recommendations

Karin M.J. Huster, Njogu Patterson, Marian Schilperoord, Paul Spiegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: There are nearly 3 million Syrian refugees, with more than 1 million in Lebanon. We combined quantitative and qualitative methods to determine cesarean section (CS) rates among Syrian refugees accessing care through United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)-contracted hospitals in Lebanon and possible driving factors.

Methods: We analyzed hospital admission data from UNHCR’s main partners from December 2012/January 1, 2013, to June 30, 2013. We collected qualitative data in a subset of hospitals through semi-structured informant interviews.

Results: Deliveries accounted for almost 50 percent of hospitalizations. The average CS rate was 35 percent of 6,366 deliveries. Women expressed strong preference for female providers. Clinicians observed that refugees had high incidence of birth and health complications diagnosed at delivery time that often required emergent CS.

Discussion: CS rates are high among Syrian refugee women in Lebanon. Limited access and utilization of antenatal care, privatized health care, and male obstetrical providers may be important drivers that need to be addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-288
Number of pages20
JournalYale Journal of Biology and Medicine
Volume87
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cesarean section
  • Humanitarian emergency
  • Lebanon
  • Refugee
  • Syrian crisis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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