Rural women forced to conceal illnesses for yrs

Rural women forced to conceal illnesses for yrs

Oct 30, 2014-

Despite changing social mores and advancement in the medical field, the tendency of women hiding their illnesses for years still continues in rural areas.

The trend was revealed at a health camp organised at Duruwa VDC in the district on Thursday as a large number of women were found keeping their illnesses such as uterine prolapse, cysts and tumours in the uterus and mental problems to themselves for years.

Health workers at the camp said lack of support, indifference of family members, social stigma, financial constraint and workload were some of the major factors behind the tendency. The women, however, came forward with their health problems after discussions on gender-based  violence and post-maternity complications.

“Unlike men, women cannot easily come forward with their ailments due to prevalent traditional beliefs and social stigma,” said Padma Chaudhary of the Women Rehabilitation Centre Nepal, the organiser of the health camp. The organisers said the consultations helped local women express their problems in front of health workers with ease, facilitating their diagnosis and treatment.

“I had not been able to visit a doctor as I remain busy doing household chores. But as doctors themselves came to the village, I did not want to miss the chance,” said 62-year-old Bipti Chaudhary of Duruwa-6 who was suffering from lower abdominal pain for the past two years. Diagnosed with tumour in her uterus, she said doctors told her that she has to undergo a surgery. Chaudhary, however, was ignorant about the fact that governmental hospital conducts uterus operations free of cost.

Due to the lack of awareness, many women were found living with such ailments while a few were dependent on traditional medication, according to the organisers. “I came to the camp organised in the village otherwise it would be impossible to seek medical assistance due to workload at home,” said Prathami Chaudhary of Kothari in Duruwa.

Deepa Dhital, the organisation’s women health programme supervisor, said more than 200 women had benefited from the camp. She said they also plan to organise such camps in Phoolbari, Tulsipur and Ghorahi in the district.

Published: 31-10-2014 09:17

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