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Women’s Health is a Matter of Great Concern in India

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  • Last Updated : 29 Oct, 2021

Women make up half of the population in India. In the fields of education, economic involvement, and health care, they face several disadvantages as compared to males. The country’s child sex ratio has deteriorated from 927 in 2001 to 919 as shown by the 2011 census, indicating a rising prevalence of female feticide, which was described as a “matter of grave concern” by Census Commissioner of India C. Chandramouli.

Anemia and nutritional anemia caused by iron deficiency affect more than half of married women between the ages of 15 and 49, contributing to 19% of maternal deaths. In India, abortion is also one of the leading causes of maternal illness and death. Women’s poor health is closely connected to socioeconomic disparities, which limit their access to and control over resources.

Health Concerns Specifically Affecting Women’s Health

Malnutrition

Malnutrition has a significant impact on an individual’s total health, and its presence has a significant impact on psychological and physical health. Among developing countries, India has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in women. In 2012, a study discovered that the nutritional intake of early adolescents is roughly equal, Women’s malnutrition rates, on the other hand, appear to rise as they reach maturity. Maternal malnutrition has been linked to an increased risk of maternal death as well as birth abnormalities in children. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare‘s National Family Health Survey (NFHS) – report from 2015-16, 22.9 percent of women (15-49 years old) are underweight (BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2). 

Women’s health is harmed by gender inequity

The low socioeconomic position has a negative influence on women’s health, which is exacerbated by gender inequity. Women and girls are socially inferior in many cultures and societies. Female oppression and violence are perpetrated by behavioral and other societal standards, codes of conduct, and legislation. Unequal power relations and gendered norms and beliefs result in unequal access to and control over health resources, both within and outside of families in Low-Income Countries. Gender disparities in resource distribution, such as money, education, health care, nutrition, and political power, are closely linked to poor health and well-being. As a result, girls and women confront unique exposures and vulnerabilities that are often overlooked when it comes to a variety of health issues. 

In India, gender disparity persists in households, businesses, and society at large. According to 2011 data, males had an effective literacy rate of 82.14 percent while women had an effective literacy rate of 65.46 percent.

Suicide Rate

Suicide is a serious problem in India. In India, the suicide rate is five times greater than in the developed world. Furthermore, suicide rates in India are greater in women than in men.

The following are the most common reasons for women’s suicide:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Domestic violence is a critical hassle

In India, the suicide rate among female sex workers is extremely high, as they endure several sorts of discrimination due to their gender and line of work.

Every year, roughly one million people die by suicide, 10–20 million people attempt suicide, and 50–120 million people are deeply impacted by a close relative or associate’s death or attempted suicide

According to the government data for the year 2019, In India, the total number of female suicides accounted for 41,493 and the proportion of female victims were more due to “marriage-related issues” (specifically in “dowry-related issues”), and “impotency/infertility“.

Cancer

Breast and cervical cancers are two of the most frequent cancers among women. Early detection of each of those cancers is important so as to preserve girls alive and well. According to the most recent global statistics, nearly half a million women die from cervical cancer each year, and another half a million die from breast cancer. The tremendous majority of those deaths arise in low- and middle-profit nations, wherein screening, prevention, and remedy are basically non-existent, and wherein human papillomavirus immunization remains in its infancy.

For the year 2020, the estimated number of cancer patients in India was 679,421 (94.1 per 100,000) for men and 712,758 (103.6 per 100,000) for females. Cancer affects one in every 29 women (breast cancer).

Mental health is important

Women are more likely than men to suffer from anxiety, sadness, and somatic complaints, which are bodily symptoms that cannot be explained medically. Suicide is the biggest cause of mortality for women under the age of 60, and depression is the most common mental health problem among women. It’s important to elevate girls’ recognition of intellectual fitness problems and supply them with the self-assurance to be seeking help.

HIV / AIDS

Three decades into the AIDS pandemic, new HIV infections disproportionately affect young women. Too many younger girls are nonetheless not able to guard themselves against HIV transmission thru sexual touch and acquire the vital remedy. This makes them mainly liable to tuberculosis (TB), that’s one of the main reasons for dying in low-profit nations amongst girls elderly 20 to 59. HIV is the major cause of death and disease in women of reproductive age all across the world. In 2007, 15.5 million of the 30.8 million adults living with HIV were women.

Impact of air pollution on women health

Around 2.6 billion people still cook over open flames or inefficient stoves using solid fuels (such as wood, crop wastes, charcoal, coal, and dung) and kerosene. The vast majority of these individuals are poor and reside in low- and middle-income nations. These cooking methods are inefficient, and they rely on fuels and technologies that contribute to high levels of home air pollution, including macroscopic soot particles that penetrate deep the lungs. Indoor smoke levels can be 100 times higher than permitted values for fine particles in poorly ventilated houses. Women and young children, who spend the most time around the domestic fireplace, are particularly.

Health problems Related to air pollution: 

  1. Pneumonia: Household air pollution nearly doubles the risk of pediatric pneumonia, accounting for 45% of all pneumonia deaths in children under the age of five, Adults are at risk for acute lower respiratory infections (pneumonia) from household air pollution, which accounts for 28% of all pneumonia-related deaths.
  2. COPD stands for Chronis obstructive pulmonary disease: In low- and middle-income nations, exposure to household air pollution causes one of every four fatalities from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is more than twice as common in women who are exposed to high amounts of indoor smoke than in women who utilize cleaner fuels and technology. Exposure to household air pollution nearly doubles the risk of COPD in men (who already have a higher risk of COPD due to their higher rates of smoking).

Conclusion:  

These are just a few of the challenges that many women in poor countries encounter. These issues are exacerbated by deeper-seated issues. Women’s standing (i.e., their political, educational, and cultural roles in society) has a direct impact on their access to healthcare. The poor development has been exacerbated by a lack of political support thus far. Effective altruists can have a greater impact on improving the lives of women in developing countries by advocating for political figures to become more involved in women’s health. Those engaged in policy development might work with others to do cost-effectiveness studies on potential implementations that can enhance health systems.

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