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A study revealed that nearly 92% of the women suffered from gynecological problems which are not only confined to pregnancy and childbirth but also comprises of menstrual problems, reproductive tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and so on.

Despite India having one of the most progressive laws for medical termination of pregnancy abortion are being carried on a large scale.

Factors which leads to these problems

The absence of care for gynecological problems and adolescent sex-education, reproductive tract infections and STDs, unsafe and low-cost easily available abortion services, lack of access to contraception products.

The study by Dr. Rani Bang co-founders of Society for Education, Action, and Research in Community Health (SEARCH)

Dr. Rani Bang in her study speaks about the state of women’s health and how women continue to suffer under poorly-informed policies.

It specifies that our view for women’s health should not be limited to just maternal and child health (MCH) as was the case then. From teenage to death, women have so many other problems that need to be considered.

Taking study to a global Platform

The study was published by The Lancet in 1989. It was taken up by many women’s groups around the world. In 1992, she was invited to the World Health Assembly, which was attended by ministers from various countries and governmental health staff.

She presented her study and received the appreciation from all over the world. She also spoke at the UN Assembly in Nairobi about the family planning in order to improve the health of women and children, rather than sticking to population control targets.

Thus in 1994, a study was conducted in two small villages in a remote district of India which changed the level of discussion internationally.

The programed was focused towards target-driven family planning and does not offer the total gamut of reproductive healthcare.

Problems surveyed during study

A gynaecological problem involves issues related to antenatal care, pregnancy and childbirth constituting 92% of the unmet needs of rural Indian women, for nine out of every 10 medical cases. The studies in Gadchiroli show that barely 8% of women seek professional help for these problems.

The rising number of breast cancers and uterine cancers, increase in chronic diseases such as obesity, hypothyroidism, hypertension, diabetes, and stroke amongst the rural poor grappling with older diseases caused by malnutrition and infections having negative impacts on their health, social relationships and financial status.

Initiative to improve the women health

 Understanding of maternal care must include issues such as post-natal depression, which is very common but rarely discussed. Our health institutions also need to support women affected by infertility.

Women during pregnancy should be identified by way of proper antenatal care. We must recognize that treating babies after they are born is far more difficult and expensive.

By providing good quality secondary and tertiary care to the pregnant women.

The need for awareness and mass screening programmes for early detection of all these cancers.

Dr. Rani Bang, along with her husband, Dr. Abhay Bang, was recently awarded the Padma Shri for her immense contribution to medicine, for her stellar work in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra.

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