Why Women’s Health Needs To Be Prioritized in India

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On May 28, we observe International Day of Action for Women’s Health to advocate, support, and raise awareness around the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) movement. The day serves as an important reminder of the disproportionate access to quality healthcare in India, especially for women in Tier II and III cities. One of the major challenges faced by women during the birthing process is the risk of developing a Surgical Site Infection (SSI) due to unsafe operating procedures during childbirth.
Surgical Site Infection (SSI) a leading concern to women’s health
SSI refers to a post-operative infection that may occur at the body part that underwent a surgery. Sometimes, these are superficial infections, affecting the outer layer of the skin. Other surgical site infections that are more serious can involve tissues under the skin, organs, or implanted material.
It is important to note that the risk of SSI is impacted by multiple factors that include:
Sterility of the operating room, operating devices, surgical technique, duration of surgery (risk of infection is higher in those cases that are above two hours), and related eco-systemExisting medical conditions in patients like obesity, smoking, weak immune system, and those who have undergone emergency surgeries, or are suffering from cancer and diabetes, among others
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), SSI is a substantial cause of morbidity and mortality. Furthermore, it adds to the medical expenses for patients undergoing surgeries, as SSI often leads to an extended hospital stay, and may even require re-operating in some cases. The economic burden is further exacerbated by the loss of working days.
Sandeep Makkar, Managing Director, Johnson & Johnson MedTech India, elaborated, “SSI rates in India vary widely from 1.6% to 38%. SSI data is usually collected from urban areas, while the data procured from rural hospitals remains inadequate. Thus, studies and their findings may not truly reflect the magnitude of SSI burden. To reduce the prevalence of SSI cases, MedTech companies can play a critical role, especially in deeper pockets of India where the need for sensitization, awareness and training may be higher. We, at Johnson & Johnson, are committed to delivering the best outcomes for mothers-to-be in India.”

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