Taking Sex and Gender into Account in Emerging Infectious Disease Programmes
WPRO Nonserial Publication
WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific
ISBN-13    9789290615323 ISBN-10    929061532X
Order Number    15200143 Format    Paper Back
Price    CHF    20.00 / US$    24.00 Developing countries:    CHF    14.00
English     2011        85   pages
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Traditionally, little attention has been paid to sex and gender differences in infectious diseases. The general belief has been that since infectious diseases affect both males and females, it is best to focus public health attention during an outbreak on control and treatment, and to leave it to others to address social problems that may exist in society, such as gender inequalities after an outbreak has ended. While this view is understandable, this document will demonstrate that gender analysis is not a 'diversion' for the control and prevention of emerging diseases. On the contrary, it will demonstrate that understanding the interaction between gender roles and infectious disease can lead to important insights into transmission patterns and to strategies for outbreak prevention and control, thereby reducing disease transmission and increasing cooperation with public health interventions and the uptake of health promotion and protection measures. This means that considering male-female differences can increase the efficacy of disease control programmes, and the likelihood of better outcomes. At the same time, such considerations can reduce health inequalities between men and women and in some instances, reduce discrimination based on sex and thereby promote human rights.

This document represents a first step in developing a gender perspective in emerging infectious diseases for the Western Pacific and South-East Asia Regions. This is a new and challenging area, but one which should prove to be valuable and rewarding for emerging infectious disease programmes.