Experts underline need for greater awareness around women's health issues

Experts underline need for greater awareness around women's health issues

Today's modern women are capable of doing multiple things at one point in time. However, they continue to fight several challenges including the lack of awareness related to women's health issues which hinders their overall wellbeing.

The edition of wknd. conversations that took place on March 29 underlined the need for enhancing awareness around women’s health while focusing on precautionary and preventive measures for ailments such as breast cancer. Taking place at the Fakeeh University Hospital, the event kickstarted with a mindfulness and sound healing session conducted by meditation coach Delna Mistry Anand.

Later, the event witnessed two segments focusing on specific measures to be taken to raise awareness around women’s health. A Q&A session was also organised to increase interaction with audience members.

The first segment spotlighted the impact of COVID-19 and renewed need for focusing on health and wellness and ensuring regular medical checks.

Addressing the event, certified health coach and nutritionist Zeina Soueidan said that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for more awareness around general wellbeing, including the importance of enough sleep, exercising, and taking care of mental health. Soueidan added that people have become more aware of their diets and nutritional intake, facilitating more informed choices.

Dr Lubna Ahmad, specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist, pointed out that there are numerous misconceptions about women’s health issues that need to be discussed and managed with the help of relevant initiatives.

“We are always encouraging regular health check-ups, especially where women’s health is concerned,” said Dr Ahmad.

She advised women to conduct regular pap smears and HPV screenings to prevent cervical cancers. Furthermore, girls from the age of 13 years should take the HPV vaccine.

“Some people think that if they already have HPV, they cannot take the vaccine, which is not true. The virus has 50 strains, so if you’re infected with one of them, the vaccination will still be effective for the other 49 strains,” Dr Ahmad added.

An interactive presentation was showcased by food and lifestyle blogger Ritu Chaturvedi who underlined the need for self-care for everyone. According to the Dubai-based blogger, self-care is of utmost importance to women, adding that it often starts with respect.

“It’s only if I respect my body and mind will I look after it. Self-care is also a huge mood booster, which then triggers a number of positive physiological responses in our body,” she added.

During the second session, discussions took place on ways to prevent breast cancer and the importance of prevention for such health concerns.

Kylie Penfold, who was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in July 2020, called for increasing awareness about breast cancer throughout the year and not just in the month of October.

“My journey began in July 2020, when I was just having a routine mammogram. I’ve been healthy all my life. I ate very sensibly, I love yoga and exercise. So, it was very unexpected.” Penfold said, who’s now cancer-free.

She further urged as many hospitals and experts in the region as possible to raise awareness around breast cancer.

“The key message really is that it’s so important to get checked. Early detection can make a world of a difference. Everyone’s journey is different but I must say it’s a tough journey,” Penfold added.

Dr Serife Simsek, specialist in breast and general surgery, affirmed the significance of screening as one of the best preventive methods.

“If the patient is genetically prone to the disease, then we can even give them preventive medication,” said Dr Simsek.

She further called for maintaining a healthy lifestyle to prevent such diseases. From exercising at least 150 minutes per week to eating the right foods in balance, she suggested various ways to lead a healthy life. 

SOURCE: Khaleej Times


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