The bad news first. One woman out of every five women experiences clinical major depression at some point in her life, and depression is the leading cause of disability-adjusted life years among women. Infertility affects nearly 20 per cent of all couples in this city, and obesity among ladies is alarmingly on the rise.
And now, the heartening news. Latest research in psychiatric medicine has thrown up effective counselling techniques to treat schizophrenia and depression. More than 90 per cent of infertility is now treatable through advances in assisted reproductive technologies, while diet correction, combined with exercise, can successfully treat obesity.
‘Women & Health’, a symposium this Saturday to mark International Women’s Day, will focus on issues like infertility, depression and healthy living, besides shedding light on a host of issues related to woman and child health. Organised by the Bhagirathi Neotia Woman and Child Care Centre, the Lecture Series brings to town three experts. “The series is a platform through which we hope to address some of the problems related to health and lifestyle of women. We want to give the women of Calcutta more such opportunities to interact with national and international exponents in the field of women’s health,” explains Madhu Neotia, director of the hospital.
Speakers at the inaugural lecture series, to be held at ITC Sonar Bangla, include Shamsah Sonawalla and Firuza R. Parikh, both from Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai, and connected to Harvard Medical School and Yale University School of Medicine, respectively. The third speaker, Anjali Mukherjee, is an expert in clinical nutrition and alternative medicine and co-chairperson, Health Total.
Sonawalla will speak on ‘Depression in women: Prevalence, diagnosis and treatment’. Parikh will dwell on the techniques available to help infertile couples in their journey to parenthood, and Mukherjee will elaborate on improving eating habits for a healthy lifestyle. Leading gynaecologist and obstetrician Pronab Das Gupta will summarise the symposium.
“The idea is to improve awareness, which is the key to a healthy and better life. Diseases like cancer of the cervix and breast cancer can be detected early and cured, while anti-natal depression and post-natal blues can both be treated effectively these days,” says Das Gupta.