For a many reasons women tend to neglect their health. Part of the problem lies in their
being illiterate, and at the bottom of the healthy health chain. Social taboos, constricted
mind set and lack of health facilities, still sticking to the methods of their grandmothers,
and all at the cost of their health Women’s health issues in Pakistan take a backseat
among the other cultural and social responsibilities that she undertakes. Women’s
mortality rates during pregnancy are among the highest in the world, and with poverty
and one of the worst rankings in the world for gender empowerment, there is currently
very little being done to alleviate the problem Women and girls are four times as likely to
suffer from malnutrition, one of the most significant being iron deficiency anemia.
Communicable diseases among women are an easy source of infection for the offspring
as well, which is due to many factors of poor hygiene, poverty, lack of education and
awareness, and inability to access good health facilities
Women currently constitute around fifty one percent of the total population of Pakistan.
Most of these women reside in poor or village areas of Pakistan, where there are no
health facilities available. The young ages of marriage and childbirths and lack of
experienced staff lead to complications during delivery and afterwards, that are a
significant cause of morbidity and mortality among young women. Under and
malnutrition is a common finding. There is a serious deficit in the use of family planning
practices with no say of woman in this regard. Also, women run a very high risk of
contracting conditions such as HIV due to male dominant society patterns.
Mental illnesses at present are virtually unaccounted for women. Domestic violence is a
common practice in Pakistani culture, and women themselves passively support these
practices by not raising their voices against it Women are also important bread earners of
the family, although their health or their needs are seldom met. Respiratory tract
infections including tuberculosis is a very common finding in rural women or women
belonging to poor families. The lack of government initiatives to give women more rights
and freedom regarding their sexual and reproductive health, and freedom from male
dominant culture of society makes it impossible to imagine any immediate improvement
in the status of women
Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, thyroid problems etc. all are very
prevalent. The main issue is the lack of any education and awareness, coupled with
poverty and male dominant societal patterns, which do not allow women to seek medical
help. Women are often refused to be consulted by a male physician, and female doctors
remain deficient, which increases problems in access to care. Poor health in women leads
to poor health and development of children. Hence a whole generation of children is also
suffering from the plights of poor health of women.
In this age of advanced technology, 99.99% of the women suffer from complications
after child birth. According to findings, the above mentioned percentage of women
suffering from incontinence after child birth has resulted in, them being shunned by all
members of the family, and notably the husband.
But incontinence is not the only problem. It is only when matters come to a head are they
taken to the doctor. There are efforts being made to enlighten villages on safe guarding
the health of women and children, but it is a slow process. Consequently because of the
social status given to them the problem is compounded, it is not just the status it is
a medical problem also. Female mortality rate is at an all time high, because of the stigma
attached to the fairer sex.
Once again if the LHVs can educate the poorest of the poor about nutrition, health issues,
and not just on birth control, and safe delivery of babies, they will be doing everyone a
favor, especially those who are at the bottom of the food chain. After all it is they who
help to feed half the world.