Inequality and Health Care

March 24, 2008

The Overseas Development Institute calls our attention to the fact that gender inequality remains a significant factor in understanding poor health care results around the world.

Women account for the majority of the world’s poor, and being a poor woman carries serious health risks, including a higher prevalence of HIV and AIDS and an increased risk of sexual and family violence. Maternal mortality remains alarmingly high in many developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where more than 900 women die for every 100,000 live births. This rises to a high of 2,100 per 100,000 in Sierra Leone, where a woman has a 1 in 8 chance of dying during pregnancy or childbirth. In the industrialised world, just 8 women die per 100,000 live births and the risk of maternal death is 1 in 8,000.

Just as discrimination towards HIV/AIDS victims obstructs effective treatment, these statistics further illustrate why insuring equal protection under the law and promoting respect for individual rights is a vital prerequisite to effective public health care.

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One Response to “Inequality and Health Care”

  1. Pretty Chan Says:

    Not only women, but also men are under gradually serious threat of sexually transmitted disease. Syphilis is a common sex-related disease, in which HK has a recent case of a 9-year-old getting infected from mother’s body since he was born. In the latest publication by Centre for Health Protection, “Communicable Disease Watch” (Retrieved at http://www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/CDW_V5_7s.pdf), the number of early( infectious ) syphilis,including primary and secondary syphilis recorded an increase every year here in Hong Kong.

    My point is that, whereas in Hong Kong, a medically advanced city, it has been identified as a threat, what is its threat to developing countries, where protective measures for sex-related diseases are less advanced? In particular, as the interaction between HK and mainland gets closer these years, this would become a potential health threat that we should not omit.


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