Healthy women are crucial for a healthy society
As we mark Women’s Month, the Western Cape Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, wants to remind all women that their personal health is as important as their loved ones. “Do not lose sight of your own health needs,” the Minister urged.
“In today’s society women work full time and take care of their households. Often they simply don’t have time to prioritise their own health needs, but if they get sick, it has a big knock on effect,” she said.
The Provincial Minister added: “Women need to take care of themselves more actively because they are the bedrock of any nation. As a health service, we have mapped the needs of girls and women, and we have a full suite of services on offer to ensure their health.’”
This Women’s Month theme is Generational Equality: Realising Women’s Right to an Equal Future.
As a department, our goal and commitment is to offer and promote services that give women the opportunity to lead full and opportunity-rich lives.
“As much as our healthcare system is people-centric, it must strive to place women and girls at its centre. This is especially important when it comes to maternal health services, which include among others:
- Supporting services during the various stages of pregnancy, birth, and early childhood;
- Family planning;
- Support to moms with young children (e.g., nutrition and immunisation);
- Cervical screening/pap smears;
- Menopause care
Said Minister Mbombo: “Another key part of our services, and one which is a reality across South Africa, is to provide help to women who have suffered harm, including treatment for sexual abuse and rape, but what I want to say to men is: treat our women with the respect that they deserve and call your friends out if they do not. We should not have to offer these services, and all men have a role to play in stopping these incidences from happening.”
In the Department’s continued effort to improve access to services, women can now get integrated comprehensive health care through these initiatives:
- Adolescent Youth Friendly Services have been implemented in the Western Cape following a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach. Among the aims are to reduce HIV, TB and teenage pregnancies;
- Sexual and Reproductive Health initiatives work collaboratively with our partners in providing accessible health services to promote sound sexual reproductive practices
,prevent sexually transmitted infections, and increase condom use
- Improving access to health services is key to supporting victims of sexual abuse and preventing secondary victimisation through the Thutuzela Care Centres and the implemented referral systems.
Minister Mbombo concluded: “Women are strong and capable members of society and while they often put others’ needs ahead of themselves, they need to also take care of themselves. They can do this by taking full advantage of everything our health services offer.”