Group | Gender and Inequities

Gender health analysis points to the fact that the experience of health and illness in society is to some extent different and often more hidden for women than for men. Gender inequalities determine the development and prevalence of respiratory diseases such as asthma, cardiovascular risk factors or access to health services. Experts at Swiss TPH focus on how gender influences health outcomes and inequalities in health care. They consider gender as a socio-cultural determinant of health and address gender-specific factors in epidemiological models of communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Sonja Merten

Sonja Merten


Improve Safety and Hygiene for the Benefit of Women’s Health

Safety concerns surrounding menstrual hygiene products have garnered global attention from consumer groups and women’s health activists. Significant initiatives now address menstrual health and related products, particularly in low-income countries. However, we are still facing a dearth of evidence on the health impacts of menstrual products. This project seeks to increase the knowledge on this issue by establishing a comprehensive evidence base on the health effects of various menstrual products on the vaginal microbiome, a gatekeeper of women’s health. To achieve its goals, the research team will examine women’s practices and preferences regarding menstrual hygiene products in Peru, and Cameroon, while conducting a systematic global review to provide context. Read more

Monitoring of Baby Friendly Hospitals in Switzerland

Since the launch of the Baby Friendly Hospitals Initiative (BHFI) of WHO and UNICEF in 1991, the Baby Friendly Hospitals (BHF) help towards a goof start in life worldwide. In Switzerland, BFH accredited hospitals implemented the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and adhere to the Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (WHO/UNICEF, 2009). Since 2000, data are collected about every mother-child pair and evaluated by Swiss TPH. Within the scope of the monitoring, it could be demonstrated that the proportion of children who only receive breast milk during their hospital stay has increased continuously in certified hospitals. The analysis of national data on breastfeeding (Swiss Infant Feeding Study project) showed that children born in certified hospitals are breastfed longer. Read full article

Bapolisi W.A et al. Engaging men in women's empowerment: impact of a complex gender transformative intervention on household socio-economic and health outcomes in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo using a longitudinal survey. BMC Public Health. 2024;24(1):443. DOI: 10.1186/s12889-024-17717-5

Ekou F.K et al. Randomised controlled trial on the effect of social support on disease control, mental health and health-related quality of life in people with diabetes from Côte d'Ivoire: the SoDDiCo study protocol. BMJ Open. 2024;14(1):e069934. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-069934

Ikuteyijo O.O et al. Demand and supply of adolescent and young adult’s sexual and reproductive health services during COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa: a scoping review. Int J Popul Stud. 2024;10(1):21-33. DOI: 10.36922/ijps.366

Owolodun B, Gmür D, Felber S, Ollier C, Haller T, Merten S. From diversity to uniformity: comparing nutritional transition of food consumption in four regions in Senegal. Food culture & society. 2024(in press). DOI: 10.1080/15528014.2024.2310380

Bapolisi W.A, Bisimwa G, Merten S. Barriers to family planning use in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo: an application of the theory of planned behaviour using a longitudinal survey. BMJ Open. 2023;13(2):e061564. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-061564