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WHO calls for action on female healthcare

11th November 2009

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for action to improve the healthcare of girls and women.

It found that worldwide, women provide the bulk of healthcare – whether in the home, the community or the health system.

It also found up to 80 per cent of all healthcare and 90 per cent of care for HIV/Aids-related illness is provided in the home – almost always by women, “yet more often than not, they go unsupported, unrecognised and unremunerated in this essential role”.

When it comes to meeting women’s healthcare needs, some services, such as care during pregnancy, are more likely to be in place than others such as mental health, sexual violence and screening and treatment for cervical cancer, the report found.

“We will not see significant progress as long as women are regarded as second-class citizens in so many parts of the world,” WHO director-general, Dr Margaret Chan said.

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