March 07, 2019

Today marks the recognition of International Women’s Day. It has been nearly 25 years since the recognition of this day, celebrating the many accomplishments and actions that women have taken globally to reduce inequality among genders. However, despite many advances, there are still acute areas that require further action and change. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called attention to the top ten issues in health that require some work. These include:

  • Cancer
  • Reproductive health
  • Maternal health
  • HIV
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Violence against women
  • Mental health
  • Noncommunicable diseases



Women on both ends of the age spectrum face these challenges, particularly adolescent girls, even in developed countries with early pregnancy and motherhood, violence, and STIs. Aged women frequently face unequal access to healthcare, exacerbating chronic health conditions that are often late to be diagnosed and treated. It is important to be mindful of the challenges women face in many areas and to be grateful for the healthcare and attention they have.



Balance For Better

For International Women's Day, #BalanceforBetter brings awareness to the various issues that women face globally to maintain general health, increase life expectancy, and achieve equality for healthcare.

Many women in developed countries enjoy excellent access to quality care and often take advantage of preventive health and wellness programs. This access allows them to take preventive action against disease through education and access to medications and treatment, as well as obtain early diagnoses for common health issues that can be mitigated through action or further treatment.

Unfortunately, this access is not available globally, and women living in developing and impoverished areas have impaired access to care as well as little information about preventive care. The mortality and reduced quality of life for these women is often poor, and agencies such as the WHO and many non-governmental organizations work hard to bring services and education to remote and impoverished areas.


Access to Healthcare Varies by Country

Women traveling internationally should keep in mind that healthcare services may be very different compared to what they are accustomed to at home. Female travelers should be knowledgeable about the customs and medical infrastructure of the countries they are entering, including access to medical care, medication availability, and personal health products. Preparing for potential deficits in care and services, which may surprise some travelers, is an important aspect of travel planning.

Working with different cultures to raise awareness for women's health issues and provide them a means to access improved care options continues to be a priority effort for public, private, and faith-based groups worldwide. A sound understanding of the challenges to these efforts, as well as any health threats that women may face during travel, is the foundation for disease prevention, mitigation, and building improvements for the future.


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