International Day of Action for Women's Health: A Global Call for Action

Women have the right to access quality sexual and reproductive healthcare.

Women have the right to access quality sexual and reproductive healthcare.

Photo credit: Fotosearch

What you need to know:

  • The International Day of Action for women's health was first launched in 1987.
  • It¬†highlights the need for more research on women's health issues and the need for better policies to protect women's health.

May 28th was the International Day of Action for women's health. This day is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of women's health and the barriers women face in accessing healthcare.

It also highlights the need for more research on women's health issues and the need for better policies to protect women's health. In addition, the International Day of Action for women's health seeks to promote gender equality and empower women to take control of their health.

The International Day of Action for women's health was first launched in 1987. Since then, it has grown into a global movement, with events being held in most countries.

Access to quality healthcare is a right for women

From maternal mortality to access to contraception, women around the world face countless obstacles when it comes to getting the healthcare they need. Women and women healthcare activists have fought to eradicate these challenges for decades.

It is through such activities that women have gained rights regarding their sexual and reproductive health.

The International Day of Action for Women's Health celebrates such strides. Also, it provides an opportunity for individuals and organizations to come together and take action on the pressing issues facing women's health today. 

Here are some of the rights women have fought for and continue to fight for:

  • Right to make contraceptive choices: Women have the right to choose whether to use contraception and have access to safe and effective contraception.
  • The right to sexual and reproductive self-determination: Women have the right to make decisions about their sexuality and reproductive health without interference from anyone.
  • The right to comprehensive sexuality education: Women have the right to comprehensive sexuality education that is accurate, evidence-based, and inclusive of all women.
  • The right to access quality sexual and reproductive healthcare: Women have the right to access quality sexual and reproductive healthcare, including family planning and contraception.

Kenyan government policies on women's health and their impact

In recent years, several measures have been proposed and implemented by the government, resulting in an improvement in healthcare for women. Dr. Njeri Gitau shared some insight into some of the most notable programs.

Free Maternal Health

In 2013 the Kenyan Government launched a Free Maternal Health programme popularly known as Linda Mama. The program aims to ensure all Kenyan women have access to safe delivery, skilled birth attendance, and reduced maternal mortality. Dr. Njeri notes that at the time of launching the Linda Mama program, only 44 percent of pregnant Kenyan women had access to safe and quality healthcare.

The programme has successfully reduced maternal mortality rates, with more than 70 percent of women now able to access quality healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth.

"The Linda Mama programme avails services in both public and private hospitals under NHIF cover," says Dr. Njeri. However, in some private facilities, you may be required to pay a small top-up fee.

Strengthening Primary Healthcare

In an effort to further improve women's access to quality healthcare, the Kenyan government has also implemented a series of measures to strengthen primary healthcare. These include:

  • Ensuring healthcare facilities are well-staffed

Initially, many healthcare facilities in Kenya did not have enough primary healthcare providers. Although there are still understaffing problems, the Kenyan government has gradually increased healthcare providers in government facilities.

  • Adequately equipping healthcare facilities

The government of Kenya has increased funding to ensure healthcare facilities are adequately equipped. For example, most facilities now have ultrasound machines and well-equipped theatres. Through these efforts, Dr. Njeri Gitau explains that Kenyan women can access quality maternal healthcare at an affordable cost. This has further lowered maternal and early-childhood deaths.

How You Can Get Involved in International Day of Action for Women's Health

There are many ways to get involved on this day of action. Here are some ideas:

  • Attend or organise an event in your community
  • Share information about the day on social media
  • Donate to or volunteer with organisations working to improve women's health worldwide.

No matter how you choose to participate, remember that every action counts in the fight for women's health!