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Important Women’s Health Issues in India

In many areas, maternal mortality is still high due to poverty, backward practices and views, and the lack of access to proper medical care.

Updated:August 13, 2019, 10:51 AM IST
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Important Women’s Health Issues in India
Representative Image: (Photo Illustration by: Media for Medical/UIG via Getty Images)
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Women in India face heavy gender biases and are subsequently more likely to experience disadvantages in their lives, especially when it comes to healthcare. Malnutrition, lack of basic sanitization and treatment for diseases all contribute to the dearth of healthcare resources available to women in India. Here are the important women’s health issues that need to be addressed.

Immunisation

Vaccinations are one of the most effective ways to prevent the harmful short- and long-term effects of serious but preventable diseases. Their importance cannot be stressed enough. According to UNICEF, India has 7.4 million children who are not immunised - this is the largest number in the world. Unfortunately, gender also plays a role in whether children are immunised or not, with girls reportedly receiving fewer vaccines than boys.

Malnutrition

India is thought to be among the countries with the highest rates of malnourished females in the developing world. This is especially serious in scenarios where economic inequality is rampant, leaving poorer citizens unable to get enough food or food with adequate nutrition. Being malnourished makes individuals more susceptible to contagious diseases which, in some cases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, can have fatal consequences. Poor nutrition also affects maternal health and the health of babies.

Maternal Healthcare

Poor socioeconomic conditions in India limit a great many women's access to adequate healthcare, resulting in their children’s poor health as well as the mother’s abilities to lead full, productive lives at home, society or even in the economy. In many areas, maternal mortality is still high due to poverty, backward practices and views, and the lack of access to proper medical care.

Menstrual Hygiene

With billions of people, it’s surprising and disappointing that only a small percentage of women in India have access to clean hygiene when it comes to menstrual care. Culturally, a large percent of the population still associates the menstrual cycle with uncleanliness and women are often prohibited from going to religious places or even preparing food when on their period. It is usually a taboo topic, which makes it even more difficult for young girls and women to break out of the vicious cycle of misconceptions. Even today, millions of women in India do not have access or cannot afford to buy sanitary pads because of their cost, relying on unhygienic methods such as cloth, leaves or husks. This can result in infections, rashes, and discomfort.

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