Public health-655-Topic 4 DQ 2-Social Determinants Of Health And Health Equity
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Interpretation of Right to Health
According to my interpretation, every individual is entitled to the highest health standards without any discrimination. The right to health was declared by World Health Organization in 1946. Every individual has the freedom to enjoy health and decide how they would like to be treated without being forced to consent to any medical intervention they do not acknowledge. They also have access to health education, a clean environment, food, feel safe at work and home. Therefore, governments must ensure that right to health is maintained globally. This study discusses the impacts of the virus on policies of women’s sexual and reproductive health rights, policies implemented by other countries regarding the Zika virus, and threats of the Zika virus.
Impacts of a virus on women’s sexual reproductive health policies
The introduction of viruses has impacted women’s sexual reproductive health policies in various ways. For instance, the Zika outbreak has led to inadequate access to contraceptives such as condoms, thus increasing infections in vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and their unborn babies. For instance, in Brazil, the virus outbreak showed an increase in those using contraceptives due to fear of the virus. The introduction also reduces the economic status, thus making it impossible to provide women with the health care services they require, such as family planning to help them plan the number of babies they would like to have (Brown et al., 2019).
Implemented policies on Zika virus
Zika virus was first discovered in Uganda as an infection caused by a mosquito and is currently most prevalent in many countries. Based on the higher prevalence rates, those countries affected have implemented policies to reduce transmission rates. The policies are; the use of contraceptives such as a condom for women and their partners (World Health Organization, 2020).
Those planning to conceive should seek counseling for further educational awareness of the virus. Pregnant women should use condoms correctly to prevent their unborn babies from contracting the virus (World Health Organization, 2020).
Violation of woman’s right to health
Zika virus can also be transmitted from mother to fetus. Therefore, it violates the women’s right to safe delivery. Pregnant mothers infected with the Zika virus are at a higher risk of having pregnancy complications such as miscarriage and preterm birth. This can also lead to maternal mortality, especially in those countries with low health care services.
Severity of Zika
The global public health threat of Zika has reduced some sexual and reproductive health rights and freedom, especially in most affected countries. For instance, the Zika virus in Brazil led to unplanned pregnancies due to inaccessibility to reproductive health (Lima& Iriart, 2021). The severity of the virus also led to an increase in sexual violence that deprived the women freedom of making their own decisions due to lack of health education.
Possibilities of changing existing laws and policies
Based on the health threats posed by the virus, it is possible that at some point, it will lead to changes of existing restrictive laws and policies that govern sexual reproductive health rights. This will also lead to increased maternal mortality and morbidity rates and a decrease in healthcare services due to financial instability.
Brown, R., Kismödi, E., Khosla, R., Malla, S., Asuagbor, L., Andión-Ibanez, X., & Gruskin, S. (2019). A sexual and reproductive health and rights journey: from Cairo to the present. Sexual and reproductive health matters, 27(1), 326-328. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/26410397.2019.1676543
Lima, F. M. D. S., & Iriart, J. A. B. (2021). Discussions on women’s sexual and reproductive rights after the emergence of the Zika virus in Brazil. Saúde e Sociedade, 30. https://www.scielo.br/j/sausoc/a/fpnnWfH4Pz7hBjdj9QsYdzm/?format=pdf&lang=en
World Health Organization. (2020). WHO guidelines for the prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/332466/9789241550482-eng.pdf