Bayer FOGSI and IHW collaborate to launch Preserve the Uterus campaign
New Delhi, 20 April 2022 – Ahead of the hysterectomy awareness month that is observed in May, global pharmaceutical major Bayer today launched a nationwide campaign called 'Preserve The Uterus' to raise awareness among women & educate health care practitioners about the vital reproductive organ and the diseases that impact it with a view to avoiding an untimely or unjustified hysterectomy.
The nationwide campaign will be implemented in partnership with the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) and the Integrated Health & Wellbeing (IHW) Council, India's leading not-for-profit health awareness institution.
Hysterectomy refers to an operation to remove a woman’s uterus. However, the term is also commonly used to refer to the accompanying removal of fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix, and/or other related organs.1,2 In India, untimely hysterectomies have been a cause of concern over the past few years. The prevalence of the procedure among women in the age group of 30-39 years was found to be 3.6 per cent, according to the National Family Health Survey (2015-2016). Infact, more than 50% of women who underwent the surgery for removal of uterus reported heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) or excessive bleeding as one of the main causes.
Speaking on the issue, Dr. Shanta Kumari, renowned Gynaecologist and President, FOGSI said, “The uterus and ovaries are the most vital organs of the female reproductive system. If uterus removal is accompanied by oophorectomy (removal of one or two ovaries) it can advance the development of menopause by a few years. Menopause may also be linked to a range of chronic health conditions such as osteoporosis and may increase the risk of development of cardiovascular disease.1,2 There is a need to create awareness and help women understand what hysterectomy or uterus removal is, the diseases that impact the uterus and the choices for treatment that are available to them.. With this campaign, we aim to sensitize & educate health care practitioners through knowledge sharing & upskilling to increase acceptance of modern methods of management of gynaecological diseases & raise awareness about issues such as heavy menstrual bleeding among women through multiple media channels.”
With almost nine decades of experience, Bayer has been a true pioneer in the field of women's health. As a key stakeholder in women’s health, Bayer is concerned about the number of untimely and sometimes unjustified hysterectomy cases that can potentially cause new or additional health problems for women. To facilitate the use of modern medical methods and to minimize the number of hysterectomies, Bayer has already reached 3800+ practitioners through HCP education initiatives to raise awareness about gynaecological diseases & modern methods of management. . This was achieved by organizing 35 physical meets (Tier 2) & 20+ Digital meetings (Tier 1+ Tier 2). Bayer has also educated and upskilled PG students via a training program on the same
Speaking about Bayer’s effort in this area, Mr. Manoj Saxena, Managing Director, Bayer Zydus Pharma said “We are committed to helping doctors and patients manage a variety of gynaecological disorders with our innovative solutions in women’s healthcare. The ‘Preserve the Uterus’ campaign together with FOGSI, will help educate healthcare practitioners across the country on modern methods of management of gynaecological conditions. We will also closely work with the IHW Council to engage with government bodies and raise awareness among women to empower them to make informed choices regarding their health”.
In India, it is observed that women often undergo a Hysterectomy, as a solution for their menstrual problems and related taboos
- due to failure of appropriate gynaecological care.
- due to practical difficulties in living with reproductive health problems, due to the belief that hysterectomy is the best treatment,
- due to inappropriate use of insurance and
- due to fading employment opportunities.
Claims under Ayushman Bharat indicate a significant reimbursement volume for hysterectomy procedures. As per reports, from September 2018 to April 2019, 24,00,981 pre-authorizations were raised for all packages under PM-JAY(Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana). Of these, 21,896 (0.9%) were for hysterectomy
The campaign involves a multipronged approach to drive awareness, education and capacity building to support a favourable policy and regulatory environment for this issue among the target audience. through digital and conventional media outreach in multiple Indian languages and extensive yearlong sensitization and upskilling workshops with medical practitioners across the country via virtual and physical meetings. Bayer will also partner with various State Governments to reduce the economic burden posed due to hysterectomy.
“Women are not given the full set of options and information that they require about gynaecological morbidity and where hysterectomy fits in. Lack of access to proper gynaecological care outside of pregnancy, poor awareness surrounding gynaecological disorders, and attitudes that see the uterus as disposable post-children all combine to make an early hysterectomy a fait accompli for many women. Such procedures, when done untimely, have a bearing on the overall health of women leading to severe ill effects on physical, social, and mental wellbeing.1,2 IHW Council puts women and child health at the centre of the health of the nation and considering the critical need to address this issue, we are proud to partner with Bayer and FOGSI to drive awareness to reduce such unjustified & untimely hysterectomies,” said Mr Kamal Narayan Omer, CEO of IHW Council.
- Singh A, Govil D. Hysterectomy in India: Spatial and multilevel analysis. Womens Health (Lond). 2021 Jan-Dec; 17:17455065211017068. doi: 10.1177/17455065211017068. PMID: 34096404; PMCID: PMC8188977.
- Desai S, Shukla A, Nambiar D, Ved R. Patterns of hysterectomy in India: a national and state-level analysis of the Fourth National Family Health Survey (2015-2016). BJOG. 2019 Aug;126 Suppl 4(Suppl Suppl 4):72-80. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.15858. Erratum in: BJOG. 2020 Oct;127(11): e122. Shuka, A [corrected to Shukla, A]. PMID: 31309706; PMCID: PMC6772015.
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