Women on the Frontline of COVID-19

WoIt’s been almost eight months since the first case of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, that the SARS-CoV-2 virus engulfed the world. Coronavirus now, that has proliferated itself to become a global pandemic, lives within millions, worldwide, posing a serious threat to the healthcare sector. It has adversely affected everyone worldwide. Unquestionably, COVID-19 has intensified the need for transformation for all as it has tremendously changed everything around in a significantly adverse, indelible manner. However, the pattern in which it has impacted the diverse strata of societies is different.

Several recently conducted surveys suggest that the pandemic has impacted women more, as compared with men. Women make up the section of humanity that plays a very crucial role in the development of society at large. They are great change-makers and hence the need for them to take care of themselves as well as their families is not just a responsibility, but also a challenge considering the current trying times. Women have been tirelessly contributing to help bring down the rising COVID graph.

World Economic Forum

According to the World Economic Forum, women comprise the majority of frontline healthcare workers globally, meaning that female representation is vital in tackling the coronavirus crisis. Almost 70% of the world’s healthcare staff comprises women, but only 25% of global leaders are females. It is much evident that without women in these positions, women’s issues could fail to be addressed throughout the crisis.

In the most incomparable manner, women are shouldering the burden of strenuous work with the strength of steel and will. Several incidences from across the world illuminate how women are playing an outsized role responding to COVID-19, including as frontline healthcare workers, caregivers at home, and as mobilizers in their communities.

As the coronavirus pandemic breakout continues to sharpen its clutches around the world, it is clear that if the governments, health authorities and organizations, non-governmental bodies, and even social work clubs genuinely want to deliver health, wellbeing, and dignity for all, females must be front and center in the emergency responses, in social and economic recovery efforts, and in how we strengthen our health systems post-pandemic.

If we consider China, where 90% of the nurses and nearly half of the doctors are females, women have played a central role in helping the country deal with the pandemic. This statistic clearly states the magnitude of will and philanthropic nature of females, who are risking their lives in the service of others.

Why Empowering Women Is Important

Women are currently facing a sharp increase in care giving services due to cultural and economic factors, with even less freedom, social and personal space, or financial security. However, they are only excelling in rendering their services. Indeed, their courage, compassion and commitment is worthy of great appreciation and applaud.

What is more important is, they at all costs have to ensure to remain safe, healthy and physically unaffected by COVID-19 amidst all the risks that gird them from all directions. Furthermore, it is the need of the hour to educate women by all means so that they weaker section amongst the female strata, which is relatively not as educated, realizes it’s worth and begins to converge its focus on self-care, preventive health and wellbeing.

Only when women are empowered enough to care for themselves, will they be able to serve the rest. Not only this but also the wellbeing of women is essential for the generations to come. Ailments, viruses, bacteria, chronic diseases or illnesses, which affect females may have devastating effects on the health of their unborn children. And here’s where the role of preventive healthcare in the well being of women comes under the spotlight.

Moreso, in the current Covid-19 times, where consumer behavior is drastically improving towards wellness activities, preventive healthcare is picking trend, and the shift of focus from curative healthcare mass offerings to precautionary healthcare and personalized medicine services within individuals is visible.

The Healthcare Sector

This pandemic has had a detrimental effect on every sector- from aviation, tourism, automobile, retails, finance, education, entertainment and recreation, metal, realty, FMCG, food and restaurants, to IT, electronics, banking and media. The healthcare sector is majorly facing the biggest challenge of helping the world mitigate COVID-19. Medical care costs are skyscraping around the world, especially in developing countries, where a vast majority of the population belongs to the middle and lower-middle class. Here’s where the soaring healthcare cost negatively affects access to affordable and quality healthcare services.

However, as the concerned government and non-government bodies, boards, organizations and clubs are working on raising awareness about preventive healthcare, the global pandemic has somewhere made people- from almost all strata of society, much more conscious and responsible for their health. And this transition is pretty evident in females!

A couple of surveys have concluded that women have been instrumental in educating people across the globe on making preventive healthcare a habit. As a result, the most vulnerable- senior citizens, women themselves and even kids have become aware and have begun to care for themselves and their families.  Not only this but also they have inspired millions of men to adopt a healthy lifestyle while urging them with the message that men too deserve to be cared for.

Hence, preventive healthcare is now becoming a pressing priority for one and all. An increasingly large number of people, especially females, seem to be paving a new path to good health and wellness as they are welcoming and adopting preventive healthcare with open arms. This responsible shift of women from a curative to the preventive healthcare domain in itself proves how maintaining their wellness graph, is becoming a priority for them.

They have substantially realized the importance of early detection of diseases, ways of preventing/ reducing the risk of acquiring them.

Dr Ruchi Dana : Forbes Power Businesswoman 2020| Forbes NexGen 2017,2018,2019| Stanford MBA| Doctor| Board Member| Entrepreneur| Speaker at Dana Group

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Dr Ruchi Dana is a physician and a Business Leader, who loves to write about Healthcare trends, Investing, Entrepreneurship and Family business. Ruchi is a frequent speaker at various industry conferences and sits on several Corporate and Startup boards including Dana Group, UAE and Duluth Medical, USA. Ruchi did her MD from AMU and her full-time MBA from Stanford University. Dr Ruchi was recently recognized in the Forbes Middle East Power Businesswomen 2020 list. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danaruchi

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