12 August 2019 | The theme of International Youth Day 2019 is "Transforming Education", highlighting the need to make education more relevant, equitable and inclusive for all young people. Education is essential to prepare children and young people for their lives. It is also pivotal to good health, gender equality, peace and security.
24 June 2019 | At least 400 million people worldwide lack access to the most essential health services. By 2035, there will be an estimated shortage of nearly 13 million healthcare workers. Around 1 in 5 of the world’s population will be living in settings that are experiencing humanitarian crises.
At the same time, new diagnostics, devices, drugs and digital innovations are transforming how people interact with the health sector.
In response to this, WHO launched its first guideline on self-care interventions for health, with a focus in this first volume on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Some of the interventions include self-sampling for HPV and sexually transmitted infections, self-injectable contraceptives, home-based ovulation predictor kits, HIV self-testing and self-management of medical abortion.
25 June 2019 | Information is essential for change, but in settings where information is not readily available, epidemiological research becomes one of the most powerful sources of information for change. A supplement by the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG) titled “Application of maternal near-miss approach to audits of severe maternal complications in a low-resource country” reinforces this message.
Nearly 100% of global maternal deaths occur in developing countries with more than half of these deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa and almost one third happening in South Asia. More than half of maternal deaths occur in fragile and humanitarian settings.
13 June 2019 – A large clinical research study conducted in four African countries found no significant difference in risk of HIV infection among women using one of three highly effective, reversible contraceptive methods. Published today in the Lancet, the study showed that each method had high levels of safety and effectiveness in preventing pregnancy, with all methods well-accepted by the women using them.
6 June 2019 – Published online by the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, the research shows that among men and women aged 15–49 years, there were 127 million new cases of chlamydia in 2016, 87 million of gonorrhoea, 6.3 million of syphilis and 156 million of trichomoniasis. These STIs have a profound impact on the health of adults and children worldwide. If untreated, they can lead to serious and chronic health effects that include neurological and cardiovascular disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirths, and increased risk of HIV. They are also associated with significant levels of stigma and domestic violence.
29 May 2019 | WHO with UNWomen, together with OHCHR, UNFPA, UNODC, UNDP, UKaid, USAID, SIDA, the government the Netherlands, and the World Bank Group, have developed RESPECT women: Preventing violence against women. The framework contains a set of action-oriented steps that enables policymakers and health implementers to design, plan, implement, monitor and evaluate interventions and programmes using seven strategies to prevent VAW. The strategies are summarized in RESPECT, with each letter representing one strategy.
WHO releases the first integrated progress report on HIV, hepatitis and STIs
23 May 2019 – The new progress report being released today at the 72nd World Health Assembly reviews success and challenges in implementing the global health sector strategies, 2016-2021 on HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The report also outlines 8 joint actions for accelerating progress towards universal health coverage.
WHO releases first guideline on digital health interventions
17 April 2019 | WHO today released new recommendations on 10 ways that countries can use digital health technology, accessible via mobile phones, tablets and computers, to improve people’s health and essential services. WHO systematically reviewed evidence on digital technologies and consulted with experts from around the world to produce recommendations on 10 different ways that digital technologies may be used for maximum impact on health systems.
2 April 2019 | A new supplement supported by UNDP/UNFPA/UNICEF/WHO/World Bank Special Programme – HRP and published by the BMJ looks at issues of self-care interventions for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The special supplement includes a collection of analyses, systematic reviews and opinion pieces, providing an evidence base for the development of global normative guidance.
28 March 2019 | Maternal deaths following caesarean sections in low- and middle-income countries are 100 times higher than in high-income countries, with up to a third of all babies dying, according to data from 12 million pregnancies. A new review, published in The Lancet, has considered 196 studies from 67 low- and middle-income countries.
19 March 2019 | A new Cochrane qualitative evidence synthesis provides new key insights into the experience of women, families and healthcare providers on having a companion present during labour and childbirth, and factors affecting implementation of labour companionship globally. This new review complements a Cochrane intervention review published in 2017 that explored the effect of continuous support for women during childbirth and which concluded that outcomes for women and babies were improved in the presence of continuous support.
8 March 2019, International Women’s Day
8 Mars 2019 | The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #BalanceforBetter. One area in which balance has yet to be achieved is that of science. Whilst there have been many famous women scientists throughout history, in the 21st century, women continue to be under-represented in many regions. On this year’s International Women’s Day, WHO is celebrating some of the women in science and health through the ages and the Human Reproduction Programme is particularly highlighting our very own Dr Katherine Ba-Thike who worked for WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research from 2003-2011, and who sadly passed away recently.
WHO marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for female genital mutilation
6 February 2019 | Today WHO joins individuals, organizations and UN partners worldwide in marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).FGM is recognized internationally as a grave violation of the human rights of girls and women. It comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. More than 200 million girls and women alive today have experienced FGM in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated. FGM is a global issue however, and there are girls and women living with FGM in all regions of the world. It is therefore crucial that health care workers everywhere are able to recognise FGM and to treat girls and women effectively.
Elimination of cervical cancer as a global health problem is within reach
4 February 2019 | On World Cancer Day, WHO is reflecting on the unnecessary deaths of 300 000 women who die each year from cervical cancer. Every minute one woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer which is one of the greatest today to women's health today. It is also preventable and treatable which is what makes each death a tragedy. These deaths occur most often where women are not diagnosed early enough, and lack access to the life-saving treatment that they need. WHO’s challenge is to ensure that this changes. In May 2018, WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made a global call for action towards the elimination of cervical cancer. To achieve that, innovative technologies and strategies are needed.
9 January 2019 | WHO has today launched new guidance, Medical management of abortion. These new guidelines provide healthcare workers with evidence-based recommendations to help ensure high-quality healthcare for all pregnant individuals who seek a medical abortion.
Publications and tools
Translating community research into global policy reform for national action
- Global Maternal and Neonatal Sepsis Initiative
- Postpartum Family Planning Compendium
- Global Abortion Policies Database
- Access all the interactive tools
- Digital health
- Emergencies, crises and disasters
- Gender and rights
- Guideline development
- Mapping best practices
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Research capacity strengthening
- Self-care interventions for health
- Sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV
Keeping global recommendations up-to-date: A 'living guidelines' approach to maternal and perinatal health
Using qualitative research to strengthen guideline development
Positive experiences, key to antenatal care uptake and quality
Request for Proposals
The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to enter into a contractual agreement with a successful bidder and select a suitable contractor to carry out the review of evidence and feasibility of cash based programming and other innovative financing approaches for sexual and reproductive health in humanitarian emergencies.
WHO HRP News: Monthly electronic newsletter of new publications, research articles and events.