Be the change you want to see in the world. ~ Ghandi

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Celebrate International Women's Day

5 Facts about Women's Health 
from the World Health Organization:
1. Women and girls continue to face gender-based vulnerabilities that require urgent attention - especially in sub-Saharan Africa where 80% of all women living with HIV are located. Improving women and girls access to antiretroviral therapy, HIV and testing and a range of care, treatment and support services (such as screening for cervical cancer or CD4 count diagnoses) requires specific targets and benchmarks for women and girls.

2. Even though early marriage is on the decline, an estimated 100 million girls will marry before their 18th birthday over the next 10 years. This is one third of the adolescent girls in developing countries (excluding China). Young married girls often lack knowledge about sex and the risks of sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS.

3. Every day, 1600 women and more than 10 000 newborns die from preventable complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Almost 99% of maternal and 90% of neonatal mortalities occur in the developing world.

4. In most countries, women tend to be in charge of cooking. When they cook over open fires or traditional stoves, they breathe in a mix of hundreds of pollutants on a daily basis. This indoor smoke is responsible for half a million of the 1.3 million annual deaths due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among women worldwide. In comparison, only about 12% of COPD deaths among men each year are related to indoor smoke. During pregnancy, exposure of the developing embryo to such harmful pollutants may cause low birth weight or even stillbirth.

5. Once thought to occur mainly in wealthier countries, the health impacts of cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, depression and other mental, neurological and substance abuse (MNS) disorders are increasingly felt by women globally. In fact, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) account for 80% of deaths among adult women in high-income countries; 25% of deaths among adult women in low-income countries are attributable to NCD.