Wednesday, October 2, 2019
The Fragile Being Essay -- Developing Countries, Inadequate Access to
Women and men deserve equitable opportunities to achieve a reasonable standard of a healthy living. However, in developing countries, the interplay of various economic, social, cultural and biological factors render women underprivileged to attain their rights to decent nutrition, health care services and health information. Nevertheless, some issues affecting womenÃ¢â¬â¢s health are shared, in part, by the opposite gender. Inadequate access to nutritious food, and the resulting malnutrition, is perhaps the greatest dilemma for the health of women in developing countries. Indeed, undernutrition is the leading risk factor of under-five mortality in girls, accounting for around seven deaths per thousand children in low- and middle-income countries . Rising food prices, climate change, wars and conflict have caused unprecedented food insecurity in various parts of the developing world . It has been estimated that nearly 20% of the population of developing countries is affected by chronic food deficit . The Global Hunger Index reports that 969 million people live on less than US $ 1 per day, and that 923 million people go hungry everyday . Though malnutrition is a concern for both sexes, women are more vulnerable due to gender-based inequitable access to food . Women are also more likely to suffer the repercussions of food insecurity because of their biological roles during pregnancy and lac tation and the resultant increase in nutritional demands. In pregnant women, malnutrition stunts the immune system and homeostatic mechanisms of the body, leaving them vulnerable to developing infections and maternal complications such as miscarriage and obstructed labor, besides increasing the risk of maternal mortality . Cont... ...throughout the ages, neglect of their health needs and concerns has caused them to endure immense suffering. Further, the health of women is closely intertwined to the well-being of the next generation of children. Malnourished women are likely to have poor birth outcomes, in particular, intra-uterine growth retardation, preterm birth and infants with low birth weight [4,12]. Such infants also have a higher neonatal and infant mortality compared to those born to healthy mothers . The issue of womenÃ¢â¬â¢s health thus has an enormous impact on the society as a whole and needs to be addressed as a priority. To what extent this issue has actually been prioritized, remains a question unanswered. Women deserve to be afforded treatment at par with their male counterparts to safeguard their fragile existence, and to give them a just opportunity to excel in their abilities.