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technology 25 Nov 2019

Prioritize the health of Women

By Precious Joely

Women are the backbone of the family, yet they are valued the least. Men and women share similar health problems, but women have unique health issues that should be given special consideration. However, when thinking of women’s health, most people think reproductive and sexual health. As this is a valid approach, women also suffer other health issues that need not be ignored.

Health conditions that affect both genders, like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and osteoporosis, manifest differently in women. According to a WHO report, the three leading global causes of death in women are cardiovascular diseases at 33%, infectious and parasitic diseases at 14% and cancer at 13%. Perinatal conditions caused the deaths of 5% of women. World Health Organization (WHO) considers that the excessive focus on reproductive health for women has hindered access to good quality health care for all women.   

Research shows that cardiovascular diseases, a group of heart and blood vessel disorders, are the number one killer of females, causing 9.1 million deaths for women between 20-59 annually. Yet, due to misconceptions that cardiovascular diseases are male-related, quite a few women recognize it as the most significant threat to their health. Respiratory and lung diseases also occur more frequently in older women. 

Women have traditionally been at a disadvantage when it comes to their economic and social status, which, therefore, reduces their access to quality healthcare. Women’s health is a large tent that should prioritize not only the diagnosis and examination of reproductive and sexual health but also the broader scope of all mental and physical afflictions. Women should be empowered to better understand their unique health needs and be more engaged in health care decisions.