Prioritizing Women’s Health: Addressing Gaps in Access and Equity through Innovation
As we enter the month of March, Women’s History Month, and approach International Women’s Day (March 8th), the team at VIA Global Health reflects on the important role that women play in our social, economic, cultural, and political achievements worldwide. Women’s empowerment and gender equality for women and girls are essential for global progress, and their contributions will be central in solving some of our greatest challenges. This month, while an opportunity to celebrate achievements also serves as a call to action for accelerating our efforts to improve equality for women and girls, and for those of us committed to improving health outcomes worldwide, placing their health needs at the forefront of innovation and access to quality healthcare must be a priority.
According to a 2022 progress report “Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030) released by the United Nations, women’s and children’s health has suffered globally in recent years, particularly with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and conflict. Despite progress in some areas of maternal and reproductive health for women and girls, that progress is neither equitable nor accessible for enough of the world’s female population; global advancements do not tell the full story about geographic inequities. From the pre-pregnancy phase, through pregnancy, birth, and postnatal periods in a girl’s or woman’s life, gaps remain in their reproductive and maternal health care, causing short-term health problems for themselves, as well as potential adverse outcomes for their babies and children. A woman in sub-Saharan Africa has around a 130 times higher risk of dying from causes associated with pregnancy or childbirth compared to a woman in Europe or North America.1 Similarly, about 90% of the new cervical cancer cases and deaths worldwide which occurred in 2020 were in low- and middle-income countries.2
Where a girl or woman lives continues to affect her ability to access affordable, quality healthcare. Expanding services, strengthening primary health care, and ensuring equitable access to life-saving innovations, must not leave anyone behind. Products such as the Liger Thermocoagulator for cervical cancer, the LifeWrap Non-Pneumatic Anti-Shock Garment (NASG) for managing postpartum hemorrhage and treating shock, an affordable discreet, hands free Wema Breast Pump, and portable ultrasounds and vital signs monitors designed specifically for low- and middle-income countries offer the potential to be frontline solutions in closing gaps in access, equity, and quality.
VIA Global Health is proud to include these, and other life-saving products, in our catalog, and we are open to working with other innovators who share our vision of a healthier and brighter future for all women and girls, regardless of where they live. As a team, and through our partnerships, we recognize the critical role that women play in our own families, communities, economies, and we remain committed to fulfilling our vision of helping create a healthier world for everyone- this month and far into the future.
Join us on March 23 to hear from a panel of thought leaders, innovators, and experts in maternal health and product innovation and reach out to us if you are interested in working with us or becoming valued customers.
VIA Global Health, as an online procurement platform, has positively impacted the lives of nearly 5.5 million people through its distribution channels for buyers in LMICs, who serve public, private, and the FBO/NGO health care facilities. VIA Global Health is a market leader in creating awareness about and access to lifesaving products, and managing customer-oriented services from purchase to delivery.
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