Members of the medical fraternity, media professionals, social activists and representatives of the pharma industry come together to discuss and deliberate on measures to enhance women’s health and empower them to lead a better life
Women have come a long way. They have battled for their rights and proved their mettle, be it science, politics, sports, business, literature or art. Alas, their health, an important aspect, continues to be overlooked and neglected. Gender-based health disparities continue to exist and hamper women’s strides to progress.
Therefore, recognising the urgent need for renewed commitment towards women’s health, Express Healthcare and Bayer Zydus Pharma, came together to bring key stakeholders on a common platform to educate and inform about the advances in this sphere. At an event held at St Regis, Mumbai on February 20, 2018, eminent members of the medical fraternity, media professionals and representatives of pharma major, Bayer Zydus Pharma shared a stage to discuss and debate on the best strategies to inform and empower women to make the right health decisions.
Welcoming the esteemed guests and dignitaries, Viveka Roychowdhury, Editor, Express Healthcare set the context for further discussions and highlighted how vital it is to address inequities in women’s health. She urged the stakeholders to join hands to enable more funding, research and creation of effective policies and programmes to deal with women’s unique health needs. Stressing on the essentiality of making women’s health a major priority to ensure progress of the nation and the society, she also drew attention to the role of the media, as a watchdog, to help ensure higher visibility and understanding of this issue.
Next, Manoj Saxena, MD, Bayer Zydus Pharma took the stage to speak on Bayer’s work and offerings in women’s health. He elaborated on the company’s contributions towards innovative contraception and gynaecological therapies. He assured that Bayer has pledged its allegiance towards the cause of improving women’s health, worldwide and in India. He also informed that it is investing significantly in research and product development to meet heretofore unmet needs in this sphere.
Renowned Marathi film and theatre actress, Spruha Joshi was the Chief Guest at the event. As a modern woman who has donned several hats successfully, she gave a great perspective on the health needs of today’s women. She pointed out that despite being the custodians of their family’s health, women often tend to overlook their own well being which have severe and significant adverse effects later. Joshi also urged parents to empower their girl children with the right knowledge to help them make the right choices for their health and wellbeing throughout their life. She cited the example of her parents’ role in making her a woman capable of making her own choices when it comes to her health and thanked them for their support.
She was also very emphatic that mass media can play a very crucial part in generating awareness and sensitising the society towards women’s health and hygiene needs. Yet, in her opinion, mass media hasn’t been optimally utilised to achieve this objective. To prove her point, she highlighted that it has taken the Indian film fraternity over 100 years of existence to make a movie like Padman, the recently released Askhay Kumar starrer which addresses menstruation and issues related to it.
An interesting panel discussion followed Joshi’s insightful address. An eminent panel comprising Dr Rishma Pai, consultant gynaecologist at Lilavati Hospital, Jaslok Hospital, and Every Woman Clinic; Dr Nandita Palshetkar, infertility specialist associated with Lilavati Hospital and Fortis Group of Hospitals, Delhi; Spruha Joshi, Actress; Shubhalaxmi Patwardhan, Director, Niramaya Health Foundation and Manoj Saxena, MD, Bayer Zydus Pharma. The moderator, Viveka Roychowdhury, Editor, Express Healthcare, steered and veered the discussion through various pertinent aspects of women’s health.