2nd edition of Preserve the Uterus National Summit held at New Delhi

 New Delhi, 30th November 2023: Leading experts at the 2nd edition of Preserve the Uterus National Summit concluded that better implementation of hysterectomy guidelines issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare along with integrated awareness efforts by all stakeholders as the way forward to curb the growing number of unnecessary hysterectomies in the country. 

The National Summit is part of a nation-wide campaign 'Preserve the Uterus' that was launched in April 2022, by Bayer's Pharmaceuticals Division in India, Integrated Health and Wellbeing (IHW) Council and Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), amidst growing media reports of women undergoing untimely hysterectomies in the country. 

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Shri Munjapara Mahendrabhai - Hon’ble Minister of State for Women and Child, Development Minister of State for AYUSH Government of India, remarked, “I am immensely happy that Integrated Health and Wellbeing Council, Bayer and FOGSI have come up with such a unique platform to enable conversations around women’s reproductive health thus helping in removing the stigma around the same and chart a course of action to address the health needs of the women of the country.”

While emphasising on the importance of prioritising women’s health for a healthier society Dr Hrishikesh Pai, President-Elect, FOGSI & Medical Director, Bloom IVF Centres said, “It is imperative that government guidelines are implemented in letter and spirit. Capacity building of healthcare professionals for better health outcomes and uterine preserving therapies is a must. A healthy nation can be raised by healthy women and hence women health should be the priority for all.”

The Campaign raised awareness among women and healthcare practitioners regarding contemporary and alternative approaches to managing gynaecological issues like heavy menstrual bleeding. In a span of almost 2 years, the unique campaign has worked pro-actively to inform women about the consequences of hysterectomy, encouraging them to make well-informed choices for their physical and mental wellbeing. The National Summit also witnessed the compilation of recommendations on the execution of the guidelines and an overview of hysterectomies in the country in the form of a White Paper. 

While speaking about the initiative, Mr. Deepak Chopra, Business Unit Head, Women's Healthcare, Bayer Zydus Pharma said, “Awareness is the key to initiate informed decision making when it comes to women’s health and hence awareness campaigns are essential to ensure women are equipped to make smarter, timely, informed decisions about their health.” Mr. Chopra further emphasised on the significance of Public-private partnerships (PPPs) in addressing complex health challenges in women’s health like Heavy Menstrual Bleeding and gave an overview of the pathbreaking work that Bayer has been doing in the realm of women’s health. 

Evidence suggests that hysterectomy is associated with major chronic conditions including an increased risk of cardiovascular events, cancers, depression, metabolic disorders, and dementia.  

While taking part in the discussion Mr. Kamal Narayan, CEO of IHW Council observed, “Health of women in paramount to ensure the health of communities and the nation. The rise in social media usage, particularly in rural areas, makes initiatives like Preserve the Uterus crucial for promoting health awareness. By prioritizing women's reproductive health our efforts can contribute significantly to eradicating stigmas associated with it and ensuring both her physical and emotional well-being. The use of culturally sensitive and easily understandable information is essential in this regard.”

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