The World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Gender Gap Report, ranks India at 140th out of 156 nations in terms of gender disparity. Women’s access to healthcare is one of the major parameters which goes a long way in bridging this gender disparity.
It is important to encourage women to take ownership of their health. Women often ignore issues pertaining to their health and lack access and information to quality healthcare. The prevalence of mensuration related issues, anaemia and urinary tract infections (UTIs) among women is quite high. Women are hesitant to seek help and shy away from approaching formal health care institutions.
Adolescents are the young people aged between 10 to 19 years. It is a phase when they undergo physiological, physical, mental and psychological development. About 21% of the Indian population comprises of adolescents. In fact, India has the largest percentage of adolescents in the world. Adolescents have increased nutritional requirements and require a diet rich in protein, vitamins, calcium, iodine, phosphorus and iron due to rapid growth spurt and increased physical activity.
Samatvam Trust organised Health and Hygiene Camps which covered 360 girls and 50 women at 5 different centres in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. As part of the programme, the women and girls were informed about menstrual health and hygiene through a video. This was followed by an interactive question-answer session. Through these camps, we made an effort to create awareness among women and sensitize them about sanitation, the use of sanitary napkins and disposal of menstrual waste and aspects of health and nutrition. Our campaign focused on encouraging women to adopt simple healthy habits. A nutritionist provided information on food habits and diet. The health experts shared the importance of living a healthy and hygienic lifestyle. As a part of the programme, a kit containing sanitary napkins, tonic, calcium tablets and fruit were distributed.
Some of the health camps were conducted in association with the NGO Vidya & Child. Vidya & Child works to bridge the gap for those children who have little or no access to education and are often first generation learners. This NGO caters to children from Nursery to Class XII and beyond. They adopt a holistic approach to education.