Accepted paper:

The menopausal syndrome - An issue unaddressed in India

Authors:

Uma Chatterjee Saha (Xavier Institute of Management Jabalpur)

Paper short abstract:

The study identifies major challenges in the provision of RCH services to the women beyond 40 years of age, who need both maternity and menopausal related services.

Paper long abstract:

Older women in India are a medically marginalized group, as there was thinking in the past that they are not linked with family welfare programme in any ways. But it is predicted that by 2025, approximately 165 million Indians, i.e, more than 12 percent of the country's population will be 60 years or above in age. The figure represents a 167 percent increase over the corresponding figure for 1996. The average life expectancy in India was 31 years according to the Census conducted four years after Independence, increased to 71 years in 2001. However, the achievements made in terms of longevity stand diminished owing to the lack of specialized health care that addresses the medical needs of the aged. Menopause is accompanied by different types of emotional and physical changes like irregular menstruation, excessive bloodshed, abdominal cramps, prolapses,breast-cancer, osteoporosis, Urinary Tract Infection etc. The percentages of women suffering from these diseases are high in India (NFHS 2& 3). Besides the elderly women also have psychological problems like depression, isolation, loneliness and irritation etc. Looking into the gravity of the problems the present paper tries to analyze the gynecological, social and psychological issues related to the health of middle aged women. The study identifies major challenges in the provision of RCH services to the women beyond 40 years of age, who need both maternity and menopausal related services simultaneously as many women in their 40s reach menopause and many other continue to bear children.

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