What We Mean By Health Care Is Different From What You Think
When we talk of health care systems, usually we conjure up the mental image of best hospitals offering expensive and effective treatments using latest technology and equipments for diagnosis etc. We think of the well known doctors who are looked upon as saviors by the patients. But then health care has a wider scope, one that we the general population hardly ever think of.
Heath care is essential for each and every individual. In the developed countries, health care is provided by the social security besides health insurance. People in developed countries can also afford to pay their health bills. However in developing and under developed nations, health care requirements are very huge and the government as well as private sectors are not able to meet up with the requirements. In most countries primary health care services are available but are inadequate. The higher medical care is available only for those who can afford. Therefore, in the majority of countries the cases of child mortality, women’s health, malnutrition and deaths resulting out of diseases is very high.
One of the major areas of concerns that needs continuous focus and attention of the world is towards the health of women. It is important to provide good health care to the girl child and the woman because only then the future generations health can be improved. A mother is the epicenter of the family and her health determines the health of her children as well. Sadly women’s health is neglected and affected by gender inequalities, socio economic factors as well as cultural factors.
Over the last few decades, along with child mortality and nutrition, women’s health too has been considered as top priority by WHO. When we talk of women’s health needs, the same can be categorized into the care required for the Girl child up to age of twelve, adolescent up to the age of nineteen , young women and senior women citizens. Each of these groups has different and distinct needs in terms of health care and sensitivity. Women go through certain biological and social changes such as puberty, pregnancy, child birth and menopause etc, which makes their health care needs different and higher than men.
Adolescent is a very important and sensitive age for the girl child. The adolescent girl child population in the world is estimated to be over 1.5 billion. This is a period that brings about the physical and mental development of the child and flowers the personality. It is at this time that the body goes into puberty and the girl begins to develop into a woman. Psychologically this is a very sensitive phase for the girl begins to notice her sexuality as well as recognizes herself as an individual. Health wise this period is marked with good health and development, calling for adequate nutrition and happy environment for the best development. As this is the period where the sexuality begins to be seen, it is also a very important period that calls for health education regarding safe sex and about reproduction etc.
Adolescent girls need to be educated and made aware of the good and the bad of sex and taught how to protect themselves. This type of education should come from all levels including from the parents at home, at schools and colleges as well as through community centers, NGOs and Government agencies.