This International Women's Day, Let's Forge Towards Gender Equality in Healthcare

As we celebrate International Women's Day, let's amplify the dialogue on establishing inclusivity - a world devoid of bias, stereotypes, discrimination, and gender inequality, particularly in healthcare. It's an opportunity to envision a future that's not only diverse and equitable but one that's profoundly inclusive, where our differences aren't just tolerated but celebrated. This year, our message is clear: Together, we can champion the value of diagnostics in inspiring inclusion.

1 Despite significant advances in healthcare over the past decades, there remains a glaring gap in research and treatment specifically addressing health issues unique to women. This International Women's Day, the focus is on highlighting Women's Health, emphasizing on three critical areas: Cervical Cancer, Women's Heart Health, and Preeclampsia in pregnancy.

Cervical Cancer: A Call for Preventative Action

Cervical cancer, primarily caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), is one of the most preventable forms of cancer today, yet current estimates indicate that 1,550 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, and 400 die from the disease in Canada.2 Cervical cancer is more common among people living in rural or remote areas, people with lower income, and First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

3 4 Early detection through regular screening can significantly reduce the incidence and mortality rates associated with this disease. Yet, equitable access to these life-saving screenings is not always available.  Advocating for a comprehensive approach - including vaccination, cervical screening (including self-sampling), and effective treatment options we make significant strides toward eliminating cervical cancer. Increase your awareness by learning more about Cervical Cancer and its prevention here.

Women's Heart Health: Shifting the Narrative

5 Heart disease is often misconceived as a man’s problem, yet it remains the leading cause of death for women globally. 6 In Canada alone, heart disease and stroke claimed the lives of 32,271 women in Canada in 2019, equating to the loss of one woman’s life every 16 minutes. Women's heart health requires more attention and research, considering the unique risk factors and symptoms experienced by women. Traditional risk assessments and treatment strategies often overlook these differences, leading to underdiagnosis and undertreatment. It's time to shift the narrative and ensure that women's heart health is a priority, promoting research, awareness, and tailored healthcare solutions. If you are a healthcare professional or interested in learning more about Roche’s contribution to cardiometabolic care: click here

Preeclampsia: Spotlight on Pregnancy-Related Complications

Preeclampsia is a serious hypertensive condition that affects 3-5% of pregnancies and is the leading cause of maternal and fetal mortality.  Its symptoms include high blood pressure, liver dysfunction, neurological features, poor fetal growth, protein in the urine, and much more. 7In their first trimester, women should be screened, at a minimum, for clinical risk markers for preeclampsia. Given the severity and difficulty in diagnosing preeclampsia, it can create a frightening scenario for both mothers and healthcare practitioners involved, therefore early detection is pivotal in managing this condition effectively. Additionally, there is a pressing need to emphasize the importance of diagnostic screening and testing. By identifying preeclampsia early, healthcare providers can promptly intervene to prevent complications and ensure optimal outcomes. This necessitates not only increased awareness but also continued research into improved diagnostics methods and treatments. Enhancing our understanding and approach to preeclampsia is paramount in advancing maternal and fetal healthcare.

Towards an Inclusive Future in Healthcare

This International Women's Day, let's commit to not only recognizing but actively addressing the health disparities faced by women. We invite everyone to join this vital conversation, to learn, share, and contribute to a world where healthcare equality is a reality for all women.

Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can inspire inclusion and forge a path towards women's equality in healthcare and beyond. Let's celebrate this International Women's Day by committing to a future where every woman has access to the healthcare she needs and deserves.









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