IHP news #482 (August 10, 2018)

Women seeking women to help mend “broken hearts”

By on August 10, 2018

Clara is a researcher at the Health Systems and Equity Unit, ITM.



Dear Colleagues,

The negative impact of the gender gap on health is widely acknowledged, but now it is confirmed that gender inequality can be deadly, literally! As a woman, the thought that during a heart attack, my chances of survival might be influenced by the gender of my treating doctor is a scary one indeed. The good news, though, is that small changes can result in improvements, and gender mainstreaming is apparently not only good for women, it benefits everyone.

In other news, I was happy to see the spotlight being put on nurses and midwives this week, because even though globally, we account for almost 50% of the health workforce, we are often left out of global health discussions. As someone who is acutely aware of the important role of this cadre of professionals within health systems, it was gratifying to see them being recognized as a key resource for the achievement and implementation of Alma Ata.

And finally, the heatwave has abated, at least here in Belgium, hurrah! Yet we are not out of the woods, as scientists warned this week that current efforts to mitigate climate change are not enough – they say that unless we take much better care of our planet, we risk finding ourselves in a “Hothouse Earth” state. This of course is not new information, however, the timing of the publication to coincide with the end of what has been a few weeks of unbearably hot weather should hopefully yield some results. I know I am perhaps being overly optimistic, but I have to be, because honestly the idea of living on a hothouse earth does not sound appealing to me at all. With a bit of luck the two things will convince the powers that be (as well as individuals!) to finally take climate change seriously.

On a happier note, this is the third and final edition of what I like to term my “IHP summer takeover”, it really has been fun stepping into Kristof’s shoes and trying to keep up the standard at the IHP headquarters.

Enjoy your reading!

Clara Affun-Adegbulu

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