The difference between men and women in health and access to healthcare treatments is a focus of national and international study. However, significant efforts are lacking to gather information that allow for an adequate response in the field, particularly in contexts with limited resources.
The study, published in the first 2014 issue of the quarterly bulletin on health by the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, focuses on this area, setting itself the goal of describing the main differences between men and women. Studying the impact of sex and gender on vulnerability and access to health services highlights how biological factors (such as women’s reproductive role) and socially and culturally constructed roles and norms strongly affect the risk of contracting certain diseases and causes of hospitalization.
Research based on data collected at the hospital of Wolisso, Ethiopia, with particular attention to differences between men and women in different age groups in terms of disease incidence and access to health services. Delivery is the leading cause of admission to hospitals, which leads to about 60% of patients being women. If we analyze the other major causes (such as injuries and malaria), male patients are in the majority. This is due to social factors such as the frequency of high-risk behavior and employment, considered more significant for men.
The goal of the study is to highlight the importance of an in-depth analysis of these differences in the light of biological and social factors. This is essential for implementing effective actions to improve health services and reduce gender inequalities.