baby healthcare africa BSIP/Getty Images

Het betrekken van vrouwen in de strijd om een goede gezondheidszorg

BRAZZAVILLE – Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs, Veronachtzaamde Tropische Ziekten) treffen vrouwen en meisjes vaak onevenredig hard. Female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) alleen al veroorzaakt hevige pijn, bloedingen en wonden bij ruim zestien miljoen vrouwen en meisjes in het beneden de Sahara gelegen deel van Afrika.

Afgezien van het feit dat ze leiden tot wijdverbreid fysiek ongemak, hebben NTDs voor miljoenen vrouwen en meisjes ernstige sociaal-economische gevolgen op de langere termijn. Vrouwen die littekens of misvormingen hebben overgehouden aan ziekten als FGS en elefantiase zijn dikwijls zó gestigmatiseerd dat ze niet kunnen trouwen of verstoten worden door hun echtgenoten. En ook al zijn misvormingen en sociale stigmata geen dodelijke ziekten, ze kunnen psychologische aandoeningen verergeren en de kansen beperken die vrouwen en meisjes hebben.

Sinds 2000 zijn er genoeg middelen gedoneerd voor vijf miljard preventieve behandelingen tegen NTDs. En veel mensen zien nu in dat het in de hand houden en uiteindelijk elimineren van NTDs van essentieel belang zal zijn voor het bereiken van de Duurzame Ontwikkelingsdoelstellingen, die van toepassing zijn op zulke uiteenlopende gebieden als voeding, onderwijs, gezondheidszorg, water, sanitaire voorzieningen en hygiëne, en economische groei. Omdat de SGDs gebaseerd zijn op het beginsel van “niemand achterlaten,” kunnen ze pas een succes worden genoemd als ze overal zijn verwezenlijkt, en voor iedereen – inclusief vrouwen en meisjes.

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