Sexual and reproductive health

Group of people standing on dock beside body of water

World Sexual Health Day

4 September 2019 | Today is World Sexual Health Day and the theme for 2019 is comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). In addition Sexual health is fundamental to the overall health and well-being of individuals, couples and families, aiding the social and economic development of communities and countries. This includes young people who need comprehensive sexuality education to ensure they are able to enjoy good sexual and reproductive health throughout their lives. In addition to supporting the global calls for improved provision of CSE, WHO is also using World Sexual Health Day to call for feedback from the global community to develop a standard, globally recognised instrument that can measure sexual practices, behaviours and sexual health related outcomes.

Jens Johnsson/Unsplash
A midwife providing a woman with family planning counseling, and options at a health center, Senegal

WHO updates recommendations for contraceptive eligibility for women at high risk of HIV

29 August 2019 | WHO has changed its recommendations for progestogen-only injectables and intrauterine devices (IUDs) for women at high risk of HIV from a Category 2 to a Category 1. Additional clarifications are provided for the IUD recommendation.

Jonathan Torgovnik
School girls who will receive HPV vaccine in Brazil

International Youth Day 2019

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.

PAHO
Close of up woman's hands holding self-administered injectable contraceptive

Expanding access to health services with self-care interventions

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.

PATH/Gabe Bienczycki, Courtesy of Photoshare
A woman attends a health education session in northern Nigeria

Maternal health in Nigeria: generating information for action

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.

DFID
A community health worker providing family planning services and options to women in the community, Uganda.

New study finds no link between HIV infection and contraceptive methods

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.

Jonathan Torgovnik
Community outreach on the beach with the distribution of condoms, Kenya

Four curable sexually transmitted infections still affect millions worldwide

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.

Jonathan Torgovnik
Front cover of the framework document

RESPECT women: preventing violence against women

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.

Progress report on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections 2019

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.

Illustration

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.

A woman in Senegal self-injects the contraceptive, subcutaneous DMPA in her leg.

Self-care can be an effective part of national 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.

PATH/Gabe Bienczycki, Courtesy of Photoshare
Woman on operating table meeting baby after c-section

Deaths from caesarean sections 100 times higher in developing countries: global study

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.

© Lieve Blancquaert
Woman in labour with her birth partner

Why having a companion during labour and childbirth may be better for you

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.

CC BY license
Illustration with women of different cultures

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.

Mary Purdie @drawnbymary
Photo of adolescent girls

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.

WHO/Yoshi Shimizu
Image of the guideline front cover

WHO launches new guideline to help health-care workers ensure safe medical abortion care

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.


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Request for Proposals (RFP)

The purpose of this 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.

The purpose of this RFP is to enter into a contractual agreement with a successful bidder and select a suitable contractor to develop HL7 FHIR standards-based profiles and resources that are appropriately mapped to the core data elements required for service delivery and reporting accountability in the health domains of family planning and sexually transmitted infections

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