Organon boosts recognition of women’s health in MENAT region

Organon is set to challenge the healthcare system by showcasing the importance of women’s health, granting 400 MENAT employees time off to raise awareness

Global women's health company Organon strives to make women’s health a priority by challenging the healthcare ecosystem during the run-up to International Women’s Day.

As women’s health issues are underfunded, under-researched and underserved, Organon looks to challenge academia, investors, policymakers, and researchers to consider the consequences of continuing to treat women's health as an afterthought. 

Organon will also be providing over 400 employees in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey regions (MENAT) with paid time off to speak out about women’s health issues. 

"The launch of Organon in the MENAT region came with a promise to deliver a better and healthier world to women and their families,” says Ramy Koussa, Associate Vice President for the MENAT region at Organon. “As a company that is focused on innovations that improve women's health, it is pivotal for us to understand and address the needs of our over 400 employees in the region. 

“For our second year as a young company, Organon is launching a global initiative on the occasion of International Women's Day where all employees will receive paid time off to focus on their health and wellbeing.”

Why is women’s health underrepresented? 

Around 80% of healthcare decisions are made by mothers, who make up more than half of the population. Yet research and development efforts to advance women's treatment options remain inadequate. In fact, only 1% of healthcare research and innovation is dedicated to women's conditions, according to a 2020 study. In the MENAT region, there are a number of challenges and opportunities that remain unmet. 

MENAT investment in health tech grew by 280% in Q4 2021, according to FemTech Analytics, but no funding was directed at FemTechs. In addition, the total number of FemTech companies barely reaches 6% according to the report.

“The first step of advancing women's health is listening to women, to understand her needs truly,” Ramy adds. “Moreover, to achieve this goal, it is vital to engage all relevant stakeholders involved and committed to this cause, and we call on these stakeholders to join us in marking international women's day with us. 

“In the MENAT region, since we launched our company in the region, we have been engaged in multiple activities, panels, initiatives, and projects to support her health and raise awareness about her needs. We continue to work closely with key government stakeholders and various medical societies to educate and empower women.”

Identifying dangerous gaps in women’s healthcare

The research found that women’s health is overlooked in crucial stages of a women’s life, including:

  • Menopause: Women experiencing menopause can face symptoms, including hot flushes, sleep disruption and low energy for up to 10 years. These symptoms can prohibit productivity in the workplace, with one study sharing that 83% of respondents felt menopause negatively affected their everyday life. The average age for menopause in the Middle East is 46.
  • Maternal health: UNICEF estimates that the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in the MENA region declined by 50% between 1990 and 2015 (from 220 to 110 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births), yet stresses that much remains to be done. Haemorrhage, abnormal bleeding, hypertensive disorders, maternal sepsis and other infections are among the main causes of maternal mortality in the MENA region.
  • Endometriosis: Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age and causes severe abdominal pain. Women suffering from endometriosis can also experience debilitating pain, making it difficult for them to work or attend school. Middle Eastern women undergoing laparoscopy are estimated to have a prevalence of 12.9% for endometriosis.

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