Female health experts Sunday said that women are not only less prone to Covid-19 deaths as compared to men but the female leaders and heads of states also outperformed their male counterparts and showed decisiveness, resilience and humility in the pandemic that not only saved thousands of precious lives but also steered their economies out of crisis much earlier than rest of the world.
Citing the example of prime ministers of New Zealand, Taiwan, Norway, Denmark and Finland, the health experts said women leaders took timely and bold steps well before novel coronavirus reached at their countries while men wasted the precious time and waited till the disease wreaked havoc on their soils, adding that women-led governments proved to be more people-friendly as compared to male-dominant regimes.
They were addressing an international webinar or online seminar on “Women and Covid-19: Correlation and Causation”, organised by the Pak GI and Liver Disease Society (PGLDS) in collaboration with Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Society of Pakistan (MMIDSP) in collaboration with Getz Pharma.
The webinar was addressed by female health experts and scientists from Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the United States and Pakistan.
Paying rich tribute to the female health minister of Indian State of Kerala, K.K. Shailaja, who was a previously a science teacher and received worldwide acclaim for her handling of the Covid-19 situation, they said in her leadership, Kerala succeeded in flattening the curve and registering perhaps the lowest death rate in the world besides a very high recovery rate.
Speaking on the occasion, eminent health expert Dr Sharmila Sachithanandan from Malaysia said when novel coronavirus started spreading in the world, male leaders downplayed its risks and wasted precious time in taking decisions but a few female leaders and heads of state took bold steps, spoke to everybody and after listening to a variety of experts, took decisions that saved thousands of lives from New Zealand to Scandinavia and Asia.
In her presentation on “Women leadership and effective control of Covid-19”, she said the female health minister of Kerala, India also played an important role and in her leadership, the state witnessed very few cases as compared to rest of the country while very few people died due to Covid-19, which is being praised all over the world.
“The exemplary leadership qualities shown by some female heads of state and the health minister said that we need more women in leadership roles in the world. As many as 75 per cent of the world’s healthcare staff is women, who are in the forefront of managing COVID-19 at healthcare facilities”, Dr Sharmila said but deplored that less than 7 per cent women were in a leadership role in the world.
Renowned Pakistan gastroenterologist Dr Lubna Kamani, who works for both Liaquat National Hospital and Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi said as physicians, nurses and support staff, women were playing an important role in taking care of the Covid-19 patients in the world including Pakistan where over 80 to 90 per cent of doctors and nurses were comprised of women.
Dr Lubna Kamani highlighted the importance of women issues during COVID-19 pandemic, saying there is a need to have such webinars frequently on these issues as there is less mortality in women as compared to men. “It has also been seen that in the presence of women leadership, there is effective control of Covid-19 in some countries”, she said and added that managing pregnancy in a pandemic is also a challenge that needs to be addressed.