APAC women urged to '#TakeControl' of their health in the digital age

Bayer held the #TakeControl virtual roundtable on the occasion of World Contraception Day 2021.

Healthcare professionals, policymakers, non-governmental organisations, telehealth providers, industry associations, and digital influencers gathered to support women in taking control of their health and lives at the virtual roundtable titled #TakeControl: Shaping Digital Health for Women in the COVID Decade on 24 September.

Bayer convened the virtual roundtable in collaboration with key regional organisations to address the urgent need for more dedicated work to secure continuity of access to healthcare. The event unveiled the impact of COVID-19 on women's access to healthcare and highlighted the crucial role digital technology and collaboration play in shaping an empowered future for women's health and family planning.

"A lot of women in the Philippines are going online now, and I've also seen a shift in attitude and demand for more doctors to be online. What's sad is that many women are online, but not the doctors," said Quezon City Medical Society District IV President Michelle Dado. "Education is the only way to encourage healthcare professionals to become more digitally savvy and translate what they do in a face-to-face consultation onto an online platform. It will help to break the endless cycle of misinformation online that may, in turn, lead to many young women making misinformed contraceptive choices."

"Safeguarding women's health and preserving the progress made on access to contraception remain our top priority amidst COVID-19. Multi-stakeholder collaboration, digital innovation, increasing knowledge on women's health, and undisrupted access to contraceptives are critical in supporting family planning," according to Bayer APAC pharmaceutical division head of medical affairs Shivani Kapur.

Across the Asia Pacific, Bayer has been collaborating with governments and organisations to introduce initiatives that promote greater contraception awareness and education. Some of these partnerships are with the Philippine Population Commission,  the Department of Health Bureau of Reproductive Health in Thailand, the Family Planning and Women's Union, and the Government Office of Family Planning in Vietnam.

For 15 years, World Contraception Day has been celebrated annually on 26 September.

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