Penn Nursing

Posts Tagged ‘public health’

Women’s Health in the Urban Community: NIH Perspective

In Women's Health on May 3, 2010 at 11:47 am

Making women’s health a priority doesn’t start in the ghettos and slums of urban America or around the world. It starts at the research level, according to Dr. Vivian W. Pinn, associate director for research on women’s health at the National Institutes of Health.

She spoke at the Penn-ICOWHI 18th Conference April 7-10 in Philadelphia on the importance of paying attention to gender differences in research.

It is important to focus on women’s health beyond the reproductive years and to look at women’s health over their lifespan. It’s essential to look at disparities among different populations to really make an impact on women’s health, she said in her talk.

Some of the simplest problems should be focused on. For example, how do lifestyle factors expose women to more diseases? Do women get more chronic diseases if they cook on open fireplaces indoors?

She also talked about reversing the brain drain of scientists who come to the United States and other western nations to study and develop their own expertise. She emphasized the importance of encouraging these experts to return to their own communities to work.

Kate Kinslow, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Hospital, introduced Dr. Pinn at the session underscoring the importance research has in helping lift women’s health out of the backwaters.

“Half of our population cannot be left behind,” Kinslow said.

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When Progress is Fatal

In Women's Health on April 6, 2010 at 11:49 am

Worldwide urbanization looks like progress on its face. Growing urbanization brings more jobs to the city and more people to work.

That’s one way to look at it. There’s another side, too. There’s a negative impact that urbanization is having on the health of citizens in developing countries.

The 18th International Congress on Women’s Health Issues is looking at just that – assessing the impact of urban health and its effect on women in low income settlements.

One conference session looks at the environmental impact on women in low-income communities in Kapala City, Uganda.

The findings are shocking. There is no decent city planning systems or delivery systems. Thousands of women have been pushed to the most undesirable sections of the city where they face an unbelievable urban health hazards. That includes substandard housing, overcrowding, indoor air pollution and contaminated water supplies.

It takes a vision. It takes a plan. It takes a long-term commitment to bring Kampala City out of the trenches and to deliver better health care for women living in this community.

–     Judi Hasson

Upcoming sessions

In Women's Health on March 15, 2010 at 5:08 pm

There’s plenty of meat in this year’s international women’s health conference.

Among the upcoming sessions:

  • Domestic violence experienced by Mexican American women and among urban women in Bangladesh.
  • Transforming urban environments and making them healthier places for women to live.
  • How homeless women congregate in cities where finding gynecologic care is difficult.
  • The lack of services for older, elderly women who live alone in cities.

Urban pollutions are growing at an unprecedented pace. Although much is known about the health of women, far less is known about the practice of public health and the health impact of living in an urban environment.

What is the answer? We hope to make big strides in identifying the problems and looking for ways to solve them.

–         Judi Hasson