KOCHI: The second edition of the two-day Amrita International Public Health Conference, aimed at making medical treatments gender-responsive and women-friendly, began at Amrita Institute of Medical Science (AIMS) here on Monday.The conference, whose theme is ‘Gender: Public health and clinical care’, will address issues like lack of reach of reproductive, maternal and child health services to backward and poor women, social and cultural reasons that cause different health outcomes in men and women and other subjects.
“Studies show that women in rural areas who live in poverty and have lower educational levels experience such a scenario,” the organisers of the event told reporters.Dr K Vijayakumar, a member of the Community Department of the AIMS, said data from 42 demographies in health service across the world revealed that women’s social independence within the household was associated with higher coverage of maternal and child health services. “There are regional differences in mortality which reflect disparities in access to preventive services, diagnosis and treatment,” he said.
He said men are more predisposed to certain health risks and are often less willing to seek treatment than women because of rigid gender norms and harmful notions of masculinity. Policies to solve such problems will be adopted from the conference.
“There are several differences in the health conditions of men and women. They must be studied. The biological and the sociological reason should be found out,” he said.Dr S Aswathy of AIMS said the rationale behind the conference is to adopt good practices and experience from clinical care with preventive care at the community level. This requires stronger health systems which need technology assessment for informed decision making.