Poor women

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  • The importance of psychology and health, multiculturalism, and a focus on strengths and positive psychology are the dynamic issues of psychology in this new millennium. These central issues in psychological research and practice today form the backbone of the Handbook of Girls’ and Women’s Psychological Health. To encounter all three integrated into a handbook on women and girls is like fantasizing a feast and having it appear on your table.

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  • Diabetes is a unique condition for women. When compared with men, women have a 50 percent greater risk of diabetic coma, a condition brought on by poorly controlled diabetes and lack of insulin. Women with diabetes have heart disease rates similar to men, but more women with diabetes die from a first heart attack than do men with diabetes. Diabetes also poses special challenges during pregnancy.

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  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 percent of women aged eighteen years and older are in poor, or merely fair, health. More than 12 percent of women face a limitation in their usual activities due to chronic health conditions. In addition, 62 percent of women aged twenty years and older are overweight, a key predictor of future health problems. Moreover, the medical concerns women face often differ from those of most concern to men.

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  • When a woman is healthy, she has the energy and strength to do her daily work, to fulfill the many roles she has in her family and community, and to build satisfying relationships with others. In other words, a woman’s health affects every area of her life. Yet for many years, ‘women’s health care’ has meant little more than maternal health services such as care during pregnancy and bir th. These services are necessary, but they address women’s needs only as mothers.

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  • The World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund in collaboration with the Key Centre for Women’s Health in Society, in the School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne, Australia are pleased to present this joint publication of available evidence on the intricate relationship between women’s mental and reproductive health. The review comprises the most recent information on the ways in which mental health concerns intersect with women’s reproductive health.

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  • Integrating reproductive health, family planning and STI/HIV prevention and treatment services is critical for achieving universal access. Integration requires that health care workers can provide an appropriate comprehensive package of services under one roof, and refer patients to other services if required. Linking STI/HIV with SRH services improves access to HIV/STI services for women who might otherwise not visit them because of issues of stigma [1].

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  • Women who are abused have poorer mental and physical health, more injuries, and a greater need for medical resources than non-abused women. 4 The WHO Multi-Country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence found that abused women in Brazil, Japan, and Peru are almost twice as likely as non-abused women to report their current health status as poor or very poor. 5 The impact of gender-based abuse on physical health can be immediate and long-term. Women who are abused rarely seek medical care for acute trauma, however.

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  • Nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy usually lead to intrauterine growth retardation, which is one of the main causes of foetal and infant undernutrition in developing countries. Every year, 30 million newborns, or 23% of 126 million births per year, are affected by intrauterine growth retardation; by contrast, in developed countries the rate is only about 2% (World Health Organization 2000a).

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  • The grim picture of women’s health, including maternal mortality and HIV, has many causal factors, and solutions are to be found in multiple sectors. However, many of these solutions are mediated through and require the presence of strong and effective local health systems. This level of care, defined in many countries as the “district health system,” embraces the contin- uum of care reaching from the household/community level up through the first referral facility level, to the district hospital.

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  • Only peer-reviewed studies published in English in the last decade (1995–2005) were included in this review. The search was limited to the last decade in order to source the most recent, high-quality evidence [27]. This decision was justified on the grounds that systematic reviews evaluating the earlier literature found many of the included studies to be of poor or moderate methodologi- cal quality [13-15] and based on the findings of Moseley et al (2002), it was assumed that the more recent literature was more likely to be of higher methodolgical quality.

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  • Undernutrition affects large populations of boys and girls in developing countries. Its major determinant is poverty, which usually combines with other important factors like poor breastfeeding practices and inadequate complementary foods for babies, as well as lack of basic health care, safe water and sanitation. Globally, about 150 million children under five years are undernourished, which comprises 27% of the world’s population in this age group. Twelve million of these children die every year, and protein-energy malnutrition is implicated in more than 55% of all these deaths.

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  • Women in prison often have more health problems than male prisoners. As indicated before, many have chronic and complex health conditions resulting from lives of poverty, drug use, family violence, sexual assault, adolescent pregnancy, malnutrition and poor health care (Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 2006; WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2007a). Drug-dependent women offenders have a higher prevalence than male offenders of tuberculosis, hepatitis, toxaemia, anaemia, hypertension, diabetes and obesity (Covington, 2007).

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  • Writing a book like this requires a number of key ingredients. One is the body of sophisticated and exciting research on reproductive biology and health from which I have drawn extensively. A quick glance at the list of references cited provides a good compilation of the work that I believe has the most to offer as we try to understand challenges to women’s health that we are facing and will continue to face as global resources constrict, population expands, and more and more people strive for the lifestyles of the ‘‘health-rich’’ nations.

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  • The current nutritional and health profiles of the Mexican population reflect notable failures in the field of social policies. Protein-energy malnutrition and infectious diseases are still relevant public health matters among poor rural and urban populations, and they remain common causes of death during infancy and childhood, and even later in life.

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  • Available information shows that the nutritional status of Mexican women differs widely within the country, according to geographical regions, urban and rural areas, and income groups. Nutritional deficiencies, anaemia and stunting, for example, are more common in poor women who live in the less-developed regions of the country, in rural and indigenous communities or in marginal urban areas. On the other hand, overweight and obesity currently affect women of all income groups, but rates are higher in the more economically advanced regions and big cities.

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  • We have the power to explore the planets and walk the moon. We have the power to coax green from the deserts. We have the power to map the human genome. Yet in the year 2005, in millions of communities in every corner of the globe, people are suffering because those with political power have failed to meet their most basic responsibilities. That failure is seen in the crisis of local health systems that do not work, that exclude the poor, abuse and marginalize women, sow distrust and feed corruption.

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  • Conventional approaches to health in poor countries focus on disease–specific interventions and their cost effectiveness, implemented via the path of least resistance with a strong emphasis on short term results. The upshot is that sys- temic problems which underlie poor health, failing health systems, and health inequity are circumvented. Long–term, sustainable strategies are rarely devel- oped or deployed. The crisis may change its spots, expressing itself in different diseases, populations or geographic areas, but it essentially continues unabated.

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  • given high levels of illiteracy and isolation, the level of knowledge about health risks related to pregnancy and childbirth are low and hardly informed by modern medical practices. there is poor demand for, and mistrust of, preventive services such as vaccination and birth spacing. Poverty, illiteracy and the low value placed on women’s health, lack of female decision-making power over their own health, and social and cultural norms associated with reproduction adversely affect decisions to seek health care and positive outcomes for mother and child.

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  • Does poor reproductive health prevent poor women from escaping poverty? Despite the plethora of survey data showing that poor households tend to be larger and that poor women tend to have higher rates of fer- tility, experts have debated whether these conditions cause poverty or are symptoms of poverty.

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  • In their classic account, Tim Dyson and Mick Moore linked women's autonomy to demographic regimes in south Asia. As they describe the north Indian demographic regime, it involves relatively high levels of fertility and infant mortality, relatively early age at marriage (which is almost universal in north India), and relatively large gender gaps in health indicators.

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