International Women’s Day: Why Access to Quality Healthcare Services is Critical for Women’s Health and Well-being

International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the achievements of women around the world, as well as to reflect on the challenges they still face. One of the most critical issues for women’s health is access to quality healthcare services. In many parts of the world, women struggle to access the care they need, particularly in low-income and marginalized communities.

There are several reasons why access to quality healthcare services is critical for women’s health. Women often have specific healthcare needs that require specialized care, such as reproductive health services, maternal healthcare, and screening for breast and cervical cancer. Women’s health is also affected by broader social determinants such as poverty, education, and discrimination, which can make it difficult for them to access healthcare services.

In many countries, women face significant barriers to accessing healthcare services. These barriers can include financial constraints, geographic distance, lack of transportation, and cultural barriers. Women may also face discrimination and bias from healthcare providers, which can lead to substandard care or discourage them from seeking care altogether. To address these barriers, several strategies must be implemented. Investments in healthcare infrastructure and services that focus on the unique needs of women must be prioritized.

Embracing equity requires us to recognize and address the systemic inequalities that exist in our society. This means acknowledging the ways in which women and other marginalized groups have been excluded from opportunities and resources, and taking action to ensure that everyone has equal access to these things. It also means creating policies and programs that support women and other marginalized groups, such as paid parental leave, affordable childcare, and healthcare services.

Deputy Officer In Charge, Angwan Dosa PHC in Kaduna attending to a patient.

The 2023 International Women’s Day campaign theme of ‘Embrace Equity’ is an important reminder of the work that still needs to be done to achieve a fair and just society. TAConnect is committed to inclusion, equity and diversity as we actively promote an environment where individuals from all backgrounds feel welcome, valued, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and talents.

Recently, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) awarded TAConnect a $29 million grant to strengthen primary healthcare systems, enhance service delivery, and increase uptake of high impact interventions for reproductive, maternal, new-born, child, and adolescent health plus nutrition (RMNCAH+N) in Nigeria.

The grant willl fund many cutting-edge interventions created to help reduce gaps in the uptake of high-impact interventions along the continuum of pregnancy, delivery, newborn, and postnatal care by supporting the scale up and adoption of Group-ANC as an alternate service delivery model, improving Primary Health Care (PHC) service delivery, as well as strengthening PHC management capacity through improved cohesion, effectiveness, better coordination, and tracking of technical assistance. Through our programs, we are committed to ensuring that women have access to the care and resources they need to lead healthy, happy lives.

Access to quality healthcare services is critical for women’s health and well-being and must remain on the front burner. On this International Women’s Day, we invite governments and donors to do more; invest in healthcare infrastructure, address social determinants, train healthcare providers, and empower women to make informed decisions about their health. We celebrate the achievements of women and recommit ourselves to the work of creating a brighter, healthier future for all.

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