A special article published that outlines the process of establishing a Family planning and Reproductive Health fellowship program in Africa

by | Mar 30, 2022 | News | 0 comments

An article entitled “The role of advancing training in FP and RH in a low-income country; experience of Ethiopia” has been published on contraception journal. Here is a brief statement from Dr. Tesfaye regarding the publication

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are fundamental rights that need to be accessed by all human beings without preconditions. 

Access to modern contraception and safe abortion care for those who want it are two of the most cost-effective ways of reducing maternal mortality, especially in countries like Ethiopia, where a significant portion of society lives in absolute poverty.

On top of high maternal morbidity and mortality, restrictive laws and policies augment the problem, fueling the existing disparity. 

Having an expert with clinical, research, policy, and program experience gives countries like Ethiopia an exceptional opportunity to support the fragile health system. The graduated fellows use their knowledge gained through the fellowship to shape national and regional policy to increase SRHR access in Ethiopia and beyond. This, in turn, has a considerable impact on reducing maternal mortality moving forward.

As part of the first cohort of this fellowship program, it gives me a great honor to see the fellows and graduates taking different leadership roles and working to help their country overcome SRHR challenges. 

I want to acknowledge all stakeholders who have supported this program starting from its conception until now. Special thanks to Professor Senait Fisseha, director of international programs at the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation and founder of the Center for International Reproductive Health and Training (CIRHT). She believed in us more than we believed in ourselves. Dr. Bela Ganatra, a scientist at the department of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) at WHO, has coached and sharpened us by showing the global SRHR environment and pushing us to our limits. Through the fellowship, we have had the opportunity to contribute immensely to the team at WHO. This was made recently evident by the newly published WHO abortion guideline (https://srhr.org/abortioncare/ ), to which the fellows contributed in evidence synthesis and the entire guideline development. Additionally, the fellows continue to provide the developing country perspective and an insight into the practical implementation challenges in low-income settings. 

I am confident that this fellowship program will continue to be impactful in Ethiopia and other African countries and St. Paul Institute for Reproductive Health and Rights (SPIRHR) will continue to support the fellowship program as its priority. 

Dr. Tesfaye Tufa, PI and Director at St. Paul’s Institute for Reproductive Health and Rights