Sexual and reproductive health

Improving access to high quality care for obstetric fistula

An Ethiopian woman recovers from life-changing fistula surgery at the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Lucy Perry/Hamlin Fistula Relief & Aid Fund Australia
An Ethiopian woman recovers from life-changing fistula surgery, Ethiopia

Obstetric fistula is the result of prolonged, obstructed labour. It leaves women incontinent, ashamed and often isolated from their communities and affects some 2 million women and girls across Africa and Asia. Providing fistula repairs in developing countries is challenging with a scarcity of surgeons with specialized skills, a lack of facilities and insufficient funding for both surgery and post-operative care. Together with EngenderHealth and USAID, WHO coordinated a multicentre trial to examine whether short-term (7 day) catheterization is not inferior to longer-term (14 day) catheterization in terms of fistula repair breakdown between 7 days and three months after catheter removal. The results show that short-term catheterization is safe and effective. This finding means that in resource-poor settings, fistula repair centres would be able to increase their caseloads using the same amount of resources.

Online consultation for three Global Health Sector Strategies for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), HIV, and Viral Hepatitis

As the world looks to 2030, and prepares to meet the challenges of an ambitious set of Sustainable Development Goals, the World Health Organization is developing three related global health sector strategies: HIV; viral hepatitis; and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The strategies will cover 2016-2021 and will be finalized for consideration by the 69th World Health Assembly in May 2016. We are now seeking stakeholder input into the three strategies. From the following links you can access an online survey as well as early drafts of the three strategies and other background documents.

‘Realizing the Future We Want’: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at this year’s Commission on Population and Development

Mr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA addresses the Commission during the opening. United Nations Headquarters, New York
UN DESA/S. Nijman
Mr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA addresses the Commission

13 – 17 April: NEW YORK, USA. Sexual and reproductive health and rights have already been highlighted at this year’s Commission of Population and Development, at the United Nations Headquarters. Representatives from WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research including HRP are attending the Commission.


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.

Reproductive Health Library

RHL takes the best available evidence on sexual and reproductive health from Cochrane systematic reviews and presents it as practical actions for clinicians (and policy-makers) to improve health outcomes, especially in developing countries.

H4+ Working together for Women’s and Children’s Health

WHO and partners programmes UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, and the World Bank work together as the H4+ in a joint effort to improve the health of women and children and accelerate progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 (reducing child mortality) and 5 (improving maternal health).

Image of IBP logo

Scaling up what works in family planning/reproductive health