Dignitaries at the recent launch of the ‘Wall of Voices’ Middle East-North Africa-Turkey campaign for women’s health awareness and solutions by Organon at the Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
The four areas women are most concerned about when it comes to health are self-care, mental health, respectful maternity care and non-communicable diseases, a campaign that utilizes the power of the listening ear has revealed.
Moreover, from the “Wall of Voices” campaign, a unique way of conducting a research study since this provides women’s perspective and insights, arising from their collective and shared experiences, is their wish to “leave a legacy for the next generation of women and girls,” their desire for “future generations” to be “empowered with the knowledge and tools to prioritise their own health, and their healthcare choices and preferences heard,” US drug firm for women’s health Organon-Middle East/North Africa/Turkey (MENAT) associate vice president Ramy Koussa told Gulf Today on Friday.
The “Wall of Voices” which has a multimedia installation at the New York Stock Exchange in Lower Manhattan, has the initial “individual voices” of 82 women from 32 nations. These are the UAE, USA, the Philippines, Colombia, Ecuador, UK, Japan, Indonesia, Lebanon, India, Chile, Brazil, Thailand, Switzerland, Panama, Oman, the Netherlands, South Korea, Italy, Taiwan, Spain, Peru, Australia, South Africa, Portugal, Poland, China, Canada, Egypt, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Belgium.
The six-month MENAT edition of the campaign, covering 49 countries using the English, Arabic, French and Turkish languages, was recently launched at the Dubai Exhibition Centre of the Expo2020 Dubai in connection with March being “Women’s Month” and March 8, the International Women’s Day.”
“The platform is very simple and straightforward. We believe in the powerful act of listening. The objective of the ‘Wall of Voices’ is that through the microphone and by way of the HereForHerHealth.com we better understand the pressing healthcare challenges and objectives highlighted by women from around the world,” said Koussa.
He continued: “Women are different from one region to another, and when we decided to come here to (MENAT) with a multi-language platform, this was mainly done to understand more the need and gaps.”
“(Women’s) quotes (from various parts of the world) provide preliminary insights and should be viewed as a first step to a more comprehensive exploration of women’s perceptions supported by validated data from a representative sample. Again, we believe in the powerful act of listening,” added Koussa.
With regards the value of learning and taking time to listen, relative to preparing the youth for their future, visiting former Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 1998 Jewel Lobaton, in a casual conversation in Dubai on Thursday, said parents should listen to and learn more to respect the personalities of their children, without compromising time-treasured and hand-me-down virtues, especially in these times when everyone has become much busier earning a living. The mother of two boys said doing so would have the parents better understand their children and together come up with the correct support system for the building up of innate potentials: “As you listen to them, you will know that they are their own persons. We cannot put ourselves and our personalities on our children. Listening parents are what the children need so much these days.”
Koussa is hopeful that with the “Wall of Voices,” more programmes that delve on the advancement of girls’ and women’s health would be implemented and gain successful outcomes. He emphasised this several times as according to Organon observations, and despite strides in women’s health issues, up-to-date treatments and cures to diseases such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Endometriosis are still wanting. Also, women’s health research remains to be underfunded and undervalued, accounting for only four per cent of over-all research and development funding for healthcare products and services with 65 per cent of the four per cent concentrated on fertility. This is a result of child-bearing women excluded in clinical trials and so the treatments and devices invented have been discovered to be appropriate for men but unsafe or ineffective for women.
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