Sexual and reproductive health

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Caesarean sections should only be performed when medically necessary says WHO

Uganda: a young woman suffers from pain during labour.

According to WHO statement published in April 2015, when caesarean section rates for a population rise towards 10%, the number of maternal and newborn deaths decreases. When the rate goes above 10%, there is no evidence that mortality rates improve. WHO states that medical practitioners should not undertake caesarean sections purely to meet a given target or rate, but rather focus on the needs of patients.

Improving access to high quality care for obstetric fistula

An Ethiopian woman recovers from life-changing fistula surgery.
Lucy Perry/Hamlin Fistula Relief & Aid Fund Australia

Results of a multicentre trial conducted by WHO, EngenderHealth and USAID, published in The Lancet in April 2015, show that short-term (7 day) is safe and effective for managing fistula repair breakdown any time between seven days and three months after catheter removal. The findings mean that in resource-poor settings, fistula repair centres would be able to increase their caseloads using the same amount of resources.

Strategies toward ending preventable maternal mortality (EPMM)

mothers holding their babies

Maternal health, wellbeing and survival must remain a central goal and an investment priority in the post-2015 framework for sustainable development to ensure that progress continues and accelerates, with a focus on reducing inequities and discrimination. Attention to maternal mortality and morbidity must be accompanied by improvements along the continuum of care for women and children, including commitments to sexual and reproductive health and newborn and child survival.


Career opportunities

Maternal Fetal Medicine global health fellowships

Applications are invited for the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine global health fellowships. HRP is pleased to work with colleagues and fellows from Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine on key global maternal and perinatal health priorities. The fellowships are named after Dr John Queenan who is well-known the field of perinatology and obstetrics with his pioneering work in Rhesus disease management and prevention, academic research in ultrasound and fetal physiology. Dr Queenan is the author of almost 200 scientific papers and textbooks, and he has mentored many obstetrician gynecologists as well as maternal fetal medicine subspecialists. Applications should be sent by May 15 2015. For more information please consult the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine website, and see the following documents.

Call for intention of interest:

The HRP Special Programme submits its research projects for consideration, comment, guidance and approval to an established advisory body of international experts to assess each project’s scientific design, as well as technical and financial/budgetary aspects. HRP research projects cover all topic areas of sexual and reproductive health and includes projects that involve human participants, involve biological material obtained from human participants, obtain information from human participants, access records on human participants or involve experiments in animals. The type of research under consideration is not restricted and includes: basic, biomedical, epidemiological, social science, as well as operations, implementation, health systems and programme development research. If you are currently, or have recently served on a research proposal/protocol review body technically assessing projects in sexual and reproductive health, and you are interested in being considered as a member of the HRP Research Project Review Panel, please submit your interest via e-mail to ( with your e-mail subject line reading “HRP Research Project Review Panel”. Please include a recent consolidated C.V, including a publication list as appropriate.

Latest publications

Journal articles

Technical publications


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Upcoming events

1st ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) Good Practices Forum in Health

Theme of Forum: Ending Preventable Mother and Child Deaths in West Africa - What works in Reproductive Health and Family Planning

The West African Health Organization, in collaboration with Member States and partners, are in the process of organizing the 1st ECOWAS Good Practices Forum in Health (FBPS) that will be held on 29-31 July 2015 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The forum will bring together senior officials from ministries of health, regional health experts, researchers and managers of training and research institutions, major local, regional and international NGOs, managers of private companies involved in the health sector, as well as partners in the region and elsewhere.

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WHO and ICPD beyond 2014

Contributing to redefining the global agenda in sexual and reproductive health and an opportunity for the global community to address remaining challenges.