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World’s health systems must be strengthened to meet women’s needs, says WHO

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b4685 (Published 11 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4685
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    Healthcare systems, especially in poor developing nations, should be strengthened so that services for women can be scaled up, says a World Health Organization report.

    “Despite considerable progress over the past two decades, societies are still failing women at key moments in their lives. These failures are most acute in poor countries,” said Margaret Chan, WHO’s director general.

    “Too many girls and women are still unable to reach their full potential because of persistent health, social, and gender inequalities and health system inadequacies,” she added.

    In many societies, Dr Chan said, “men exercise political, social, and economic control. The health sector has to be concerned. These unequal relations translate into unequal access to health care and unequal control over health resources.”

    WHO says that of the world’s estimated 59 million full time health workers about 30 million are women and that many …

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