‘It is essential for women to get diagnosed with diseases at an early stage,’ Health experts

'It is essential for women to get diagnosed with diseases at an early stage,' Health experts

According to health experts, it is extremely important for women’s health to get their diagnosis done at an early stage.

Approximately 70% of the healthcare workforce contains women, but they experience difficulties in accessing healthcare facilities. A panel of leading female health experts said that this worsens in developing countries like Pakistan.

The event, ‘Leading Women in Science Breaking the Bias – Together,’ took place under the Dialogue of Diagnostics, and was organized by MKRMS (Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society) and Roche Pakistan in Karachi. All the leading female health experts from across the country took part in it.

Leading Women in Science Breaking the Bias – Together

The panel consisted of the Dean of the Institute of Public Health, Dr. Zarfishan Tahir, Liaquat National Hospital’s pathology department head, Dr. Huma Qureshi, WHO’s Sindh office head, Dr. Sara Salman, and many others. They discussed issues related to health and the role of female empowerment in this sector.

The experts said that gender plays a fundamental role in determining health, especially in Pakistan. Many studies from South Asian countries show that women experience more difficulty in accessing healthcare services as compared to their male counterparts. This results in poor health outcomes, and also plays a role in the high mortality rate.

Despite advancements in healthcare, the growing gender bias has resulted in a wide percentage of women being unable to receive the care they need. The doctors added that in 2020 alone, 1.5 billion women were not tested for any of the threatening diseases in females.

Dr. Huma said that Pakistani women are brave in making decisions regarding the safety of their children, but this does not extend to themselves. They have to heavily rely on their in-laws or husbands, and in our society, spending on women’s health is considered to be a waste of resources.

Married women are more likely to get infected with hepatitis B and C in the country, due to the risk of contraction of blood-borne diseases during pregnancy and childbirth. The contraction occurs because of unscreened blood, hence there needs to be better screening services available at health facilities.

Dr. Naveen said that the rate of breast cancer is high in the country, where even young women are diagnosed with the disease. There is a need to spread awareness about the issue. The disease was considered taboo decades back, and even taking its name was difficult, but as more awareness continues to spread, the situation has improved.

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