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IMPACT OF COVID 19 CRISIS ON WOMEN HEALTH

by The Welthi Bureau, August 2nd, 2020

impact of covid 19 crisis on women health
 Image used for representational purpose only

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about a sea change in women’s health. It is evident that they give least priority to their personal health and are more concerned for the health problems of the family members. Additionally the fear of getting infected with Covid disease while visiting hospital has resulted in women coming to hospitals with advanced stage disease and its complications.

 

Women of reproductive age group and older people face with different sets of problems. Women of child bearing age need pregnancy and family planning services. With the recession of economy women are planning to delay their dream of motherhood and hence services for termination of pregnancy is essential. Whereas older age group of women need to take care of hypertension, diabetes and screening of cancer for breast and cervix.

 

The other aspect which needs to be looked into is the MENTAL HEALTH, OCCUPATIONAL health. The pandemic is taking a toll on the mental health. The health strategy of social distancing, inadequacy of social support (mainly for pregnant women) is causing anxiety and depression. Pregnant women are also worried about the care of unborn child and probability of transmission.   So they are further isolated.

 

Violence against women at home is another issue.  With the partners staying at home they have to put up with violence and sexual abuse from their partners. The working environment has to be modified in view of the pandemic. WFH is a good option if feasible. Pregnant women being a vulnerable group have to be accommodated in safe places.

 

Dr. Anuradha Panda, Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Apollo Healthcity, Hyderabad, said, “Cancer screening are given a miss for the fear of Covid. Following the three months of lockdown, women are coming to outpatient with large breast lumps or abnormal bleeding which were ignored for months.  The response to treatment is better if they are diagnosed early, so we need to make women aware of these symptoms and signs so that they can reach the care givers and prevent complications. May be it is a good idea to conduct webinars on self-examination of breast for women and public education lectures in different languages on early symptoms of breast and cervical cancer. With the pandemic the non covid condition has taken a back seat. They should not be neglected as they can cause more morbidity and reduced quality of life.“

 

Telemedicine

 

It has been upgraded and is legalised. It is available everywhere.  Women need to have a tele consult initially and visit hospital if they have been advised a physical consult. They need not be afraid to visit their physician in the hospitals. Doctors now give fewer appointments and prevent crowding in the waiting areas. All measures are taken to keep the premises safe with decontamination. People need not fear to get investigations done if required. Proper technique to wear a mask, physical distancing and hand sanitization will go a long way in preventing spread. The most important thing is to ask only one relative to accompany you to the hospital.

 

OBSTETRIC CARE HAS TO BE AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE

Women having pregnancy should be grouped as low and high risk group.  Low risk groups can be followed up with teleconsults and have minimum visits to hospitals .All blood test and ultrasound for foetal well-being should be planned in a single visit at nearby centres.   Only the high risk population like (IVF, Gestational DM, Hypertensive )are at a disadvantage and need to see us more often.

 

Termination of pregnancy (MTP) and family planning services are time sensitive and their provision is essential during the pandemic. Many women reported late and could not avail medications for termination. Some reported at 20 weeks of pregnancy during post lockdown period. As abortion after 20 weeks is yet to be legalised, they had to continue pregnancy against their will.(some may even have had an unsafe abortion with quakes as registered practioners denied their services)

 

More helplines should be available in all specialities to guide women about decision making and seeking help. As Covid is here to stay for a few more months the treatment of non covid diseases need to be started before they are affected with the complications of advanced disease. People need to accept that co-existence with covid is the new normal

 

For Further details contact-9849017435

 

Book Appointment: Dr. Anuradha Panda, Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Apollo Healthcity, Hyderabad


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