Quality healthcare for women

Womens Health Matters

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill said “We make a living by what to get but we make a life by what we can give”.

This is a mindset of a mother who will give her all to make a life for her family.

We feel our society is based on equity, justice, social sensitivity and a culture of services in which we are all self reliant. Our society will stand to crumble if the woman (or a mother) is removed from the equation. It is only natural then that we need to focus on the women’s health to ensure that she maintains her pivotal position in society. If this asset is not strengthened in all its dimensions then the future of our country will not be vibrant socially, culturally or economically in the next decade.

India is on the world map of rocket technology in sending 103 satellites into the orbit by a single rocket, having solid fuel technology, a first-of-its-kind a world record. However, the team behind this initiative was a dedicated team of women scientists and technologists and the experts who worked on micro details to ensure a successful launch. The question really to be asked is what has this to do with women’s health? For those reading this article, I request you to imagine each of the many lady scientists who were the core to the project success being absent from critical meetings on account of health. The programme may have failed.

Women’s health problems have undergone a change. There is a change to non-communicable diseases from the communicable. In women who have high blood pressure, severe undiagnosed heart problems, undiagnosed hypothyroidism, vitamin D deficiency, osteoporosis, diabetes, psychological disorders, and obesity, the metros are experiencing a manifold increase. While it is still a communicable disease disorder and child birth-related disorders in the rural environment, there is a change in the disease burden from the communicable to non-communicable with modernization increasingly seeping into the hinterland.

The role of the woman in the early decades was basically to be at home, handle children and generally be the pivot and the person to absorb the family’s mental, physical, social and spiritual well-being. They are all treatable and it helps to have an early diagnosis. As the age passed and the women agreed to step forward and be known as an individual, without relinquishing their position as a pivot for the welfare of their families, she only subjected herself to increased pressure from the work environment. This has added to her a responsibility she has gracefully taken in her journey. This does not imply that in comparison to what her mother or grandmother may have experienced, she may not experience the stresses that are manifold on her today.

A study at Dr. LH Hiranandani Hospital showed that women are concerned about their health and the issues associated with certain common disorders.
Their issues begin with anaemia, thyroid disorders, travel stress, diabetes and nutrition, in order of importance. It is quite clear that it is a widespread illness that is being reflected as the problem of today’s working woman.

There are also numerous challenges that could create imbalances in working life, such as planning a family. A career-oriented woman, it seems, would prefer to start a family once well developed at work. This may take time, however, and thus the inclination to start a family may come in the mid to late 30s as opposed to yesteryear, where women typically conceived in the mid 20s to late 20s. The fact that pregnancy is delayed by a decade (a common physiological process) does not slow down the natural changes that have occurred in older women. There is a decline in fertility, but delayed births are very prevalent with assisted reproductive techniques. As physiological changes in pregnancy are best tolerated in the mid 20s than in the late 30s, this places the patient in a ‘risk group’ again.

The prevalence of lifestyle disorders for women, such as anxiety, panic attacks, depression and its related co-morbidities, is also high in metros. The sheer physical effort of traveling to and from work may also have a toll on the health of working women. Then there is a need to control the family and also get ready for the next day’s journey. There is also mental pressure besides physical wear and tear, not only for travel, but also at work. These can lead to issues that begin to escalate at home that could lead not only to marital strife, but also to panic attacks in women that can manifest in various ways that mimic acute disorders or lead to depression that if not changed, can lead to suicidal tendencies. It’s sad enough.

However, breast cancer as an individual disease is more prevalent in meters for malignancy (cancer), although the incidence may not have risen in total, it has overtaken the incidence of cervical cancer, which was once the leading cancer among women in our world. Again this transition has led to a lifestyle disorder such as diet high in saturated fats, delayed breastfeeding, lack of breast feeding, heavy intake of fast food. Screening tests, vaccination, contraceptives by barrier contraception have also led to the decrease of cervical cancer in the metros to a good extent. Cervical cancer is now labeled as a preventive disease and recognition of breast cancer has contributed to early detection of breast lumps and has led to improved results but an obvious rise in incidence. Most doctors and hospitals are conscious of this transformation and are reasonably well prepared to deal with problems that are usually seen by ladies suffering.

Maternal mortality and child mortality rates have to be lowered by developing emergency care in rural areas. This becomes the dilemma of the state, which must be handled on a war footing.

Training is not the most significant factor in the understanding and reduction of maternal and peri-natal mortality rates though playing a part. It is the availability of well-equipped primary health centers that can provide good ante-natal care and also conduct emergency procedures if and when appropriate, maternal mortality will be significantly reduced and very good peri-natal results can be achieved.

India is poised in the year 2020 to become the world’s youngest country. But the need for an hour is what a stable nation is. By the year 2025, there are several measures that are being addressed as ‘Arogya Bharat’. This will never happen if we do not wake up and develop a woman’s standard of healthcare, which is the pivot of India’s march to become a superpower.


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