Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across southern Asia have developed programs in line with the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on health education for women.
SDG #3 aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages, and SDG #5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
In Bangalore, India, mDhil, an online medical resource center, has developed social media campaigns that provide important health education for women. The organization has created a variety of videos that inform women about topics such as menstruation, pregnancy and hormones. mDhil content reaches over 2.5 million people each month.
These videos are available in many local languages, are easily accessible and can be viewed in private. In a survey, mDhil found that 60 percent of women prefer watching videos about intimate health issues rather than visiting a doctor.
Because most doctors offering healthcare for women were male, most women did not feel comfortable discussing family planning or reproductive health with them.
mDhil is empowering girls and women by giving them the information to better understand their bodies and make choices to better their health.
In Bangladesh, the HERHealth project aims to educate female factory workers on their health. Women employed in large factories tend to come from low-income backgrounds and work in unsafe, unhealthy conditions.
Using peer educators, HERHealth raises awareness on common diseases such as anemia and reproductive tract infections. Their health education for women even includes family members and communities of the female factory workers. Reportedly, this has resulted in decreasing cases of cholera.
The quality of work from factories involved with HERHealth has improved because the female workers are less likely to miss work due to injury or sickness. The impact of HERHealth is also met with factory managers asking for the same program for male workers.
In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, the first Human Milk Human Babies Bank opened, allowing mothers to share their extra milk. The milk bank provides mothers the opportunity to give milk to other mothers who do not have enough milk to feed their own babies.
The founder of the bank, Trinh Tuan, also started a Youtube channel called the Journey of Breastmilk to allow women to share maternal and childcare knowledge.
NGOs in the global south are working towards the SDGs, particularly health education for women, and are making a difference using peer training, technology and sharing strategies and knowledge.
– Marie Helene Ngom