Newsletter March 2020

  ICRH Global Newsletter

March, 2020


Greetings from the Chair Prof. Dr. Marleen Temmerman

To all women and girls worldwide: Happy International Women’s Day !

Let us celebrate the achievements and intensify our efforts towards equality, equity and inclusion. A lot of progress has been made since ICPD1994 that we marked  loudly at ICPD25 in Nairobi.  But despite this progress, societies are still failing women in relation to health and rights, most acutely in poor countries and amongst the most vulnerable women in all countries.

This year the global community will highlight the gains made since the Beijing declaration, underline that sexual and reproductive health and rights are cornerstones of Beijing+25 and reaffirm that women’s rights are human rights.

In this ICRHGlobal Newsletter we proudly highlight an impressive number of achievement by our young and young at heart women and men, working tirelessly to improve SRHR. They include the photo exhibition “Women Empower”, highlighting the strength and rights during the birth process; the Sexual and gender-based violence Sensitization Workshop; the film “Pregnancy is ours” and much more.

Therefore, let’s renew our commitment to all sisters around the world to support each other, to believe in each other and to empower each other. Let us use these powers to fight inequities and exclusion, to reduce maternal mortality, unsafe abortion, gender based violence and harmful practice so that girls and women everywhere can develop their full potential!



ICRH Mozambique and Mozambique Association of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (AMOG) sign Memorandum of Understanding

ICRH-Mozambique and the Mozambique Association of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (AMOG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding as a way of formalising and strengthening the partnership between the two institutions. AMOG is a member of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and is a key player in the development of maternal health policy and guidelines in Mozambique. ICRH Mozambique and AMOG have collaborated on research projects in the past and with this MoU intend to further develop collaboration in the areas of research, policy development and technical support. The first joint activity under the MoU will be the provision of technical support to strengthen safe abortion services in Tete province. The MoU was signed on 24 February by the president of AMOG, Dr. Momade Bay Ustá, and the director of ICRH-M, Sally Griffin.

“WOMEN EMPOWER” simultaneous photo exhibition in hospital central 2018 Maputo, Mozambique and University Hospital Ghent

"Women empower” or “Moeder worden” is the name of the simultaneous photo exhibition that highlights the strength of women but also the right to a respectful birth experience. The University Hospital Ghent will be hosting this exhibition during the yearly activity festival in Ghent, Belmundo. Raising social solidarity is the goal of the festival and this year it is dedicated to ‘gender’.  The project was a unique collaboration between PhD student Anna Galle, German visual anthropologist Tina Krüger, and Mozambican women and health care providers. The photos will be displayed from the 9th of Februari until the 27th of March in the corredors of the hospital in Ghent and permanently in Maputo.

For more information on the project visit

Knowledge clip on medicalization of female genital mutilation/cutting now online

The Academic Network on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Policy (ANSER) launched a knowledge clip on medicalization of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) on February 6th, International day of Zero Tolerance for female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). That the practice of FGM is increasingly being performed by trained health professionals, is one of the major trends in FGM/C today. The video gives a good insight in what FGM/C and medicalization of FGM/C is exactly. To showcase that the complexity of medicalization of FGM/C the video gives practical examples of ongoing debates around the issue. At the end, the speakers list a set of clear recommendations for policy makers on how to take action.

With this video ANSER and ICRH wants to raise awareness among all stakeholders involved in FGM/C, especially policy makers, and encourage them to make evidence based decisions. For that we need all of you sharing this email and the knowledge clip with your networks and social media channels.


Applications for Summer Schools 'Health & Migration' and ‘Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights’ are still open

The Summer Schools 'Health & Migration' ‘Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights’  will take place 5-16th of July 2020 in the vibrant City of Ghent, Belgium. They are open for bachelor and master students from all around the world who are interested in expanding their knowledge about global issues alongside students from different faculties and different cultures! 

Applications are still open open! Final Deadline: 15th of March 2020. All practical information can be found on their website:

The film ‘The pregnancy is ours’ currently being screened in ten rural communities in Mozambique. 

As part of her doctoral studies and supported by the Marleen Temmerman Fund, Anna Galle maid a participatory film about fatherhood in Southern Mozambique, named “The pregnancy is ours”. A group of young men participated in a workshop about gender norms organized by HOPEM and shared their experiences about becoming a parent during the project. The outcome was a 30 min. participatory action film about fatherhood. After the film was shown at several conferences and events, the film is now disseminated in Manhica and Marracuene district, in ten rural communities in Mozambique. The film is shown in public spaces, followed by  debates about fatherhood. These dissemination events are supported by the French Embassy in Mozambique and implemented by HOPEM.


2019 operating grant for adolescent contraception concludes with policy research in Uganda

In December 2019 the ADAPT project partners conducted a successful research visit in Kampala and Mbarara, Uganda, to investigate adolescent contraception policy in Uganda. The partners organised two stakeholder consultation meetings with approx. 60 people at the Ugandan Ministry of Health. The partners received feedback on their preliminary analysis of Ugandan laws and policies. Data from an additional fifteen key informant interviews conducted during the visit will shed light on the political priority of adolescent contraception in a country that has, in recent years, promoted an abstinence only approach. In 2020 the findings from this research will be published in a journal article, policy brief, and project video. The ADAPT project brings together Prof. Viola Nyakato (Mbarara University of Science & Technology, MUST), Ms. Wendo Olema (MUST), Prof. Kristien Michielsen (ICRH/UGent), dr. Katrina Perehudoff (ICRH/UGent), Ms. Elke Wuyts (ICRH/UGent), Dr. Denis Kibira (HEPS Uganda), and Mr. David Kabanda (CEFROHT). It received a 2019 Post-Doctoral Operating Grant from the Global Minds fund, supported by VLIR-UOS and the Belgian Department of Development Cooperation.

Sexual and gender-based violence Sensitization workshop for media professionals 

ICRH Kenya currently implements a project aimed at increasing awareness on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) funded by the AmplifyChange project. The main aim of this project is to “create noise” around SGBV, increasing community awareness and changing the thought that SGBV is normal within the community. This is done by strengthening allies and associations with groups of people who do not traditionally work on SGBV. One such group are media professional. In February 2020, collaborators from different media houses in Mombasa County participated in an SGBV sensitization workshop. Through empowerment of media professionals, the magnitude of SGBV in the community will be highlighted and the plight of sexual violence survivors addressed. The workshop also aimed to improve more gender sensitive reporting of such stories, amidst efforts to bring positive change and end SGBV in the society. Within two weeks, 6 print stories, two radio and one TV shows had been developed by journalists who received SGBV training from ICRH Kenya.

Family planning findings for Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA) round one released

On 27 February 2020, the International Centre for Reproductive Health Kenya through the Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA) project, released its Phase 1 National Family Planning survey results in Nairobi. The dissemination event was attended by over 80 invited guests from the National and County governments, FP-partners, donors, multilateral agencies, civil society, media and private sector organizations. It was a strategic opportunity to update partners on the annual progress Kenya has been making towards attainment of its 2020 family planning commitments. Other than the results, the presentation highlighted key family planning indicators being tracked and how these results compare with national demographic surveys and previous PMA2020 survey findings.

Programmatic implications generated from the findings included the need to strengthen counselling programs to address myths and misconceptions about family planning, and improving on access, equity, quality and choice of family planning services to meet the FP needs of all women in the reproductive age.



Marleen Temmerman  honoured with a Fellowship honoris causa of the by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Prof. Marleen Temmerman has been awarded the Fellowship of Honoris Causa Award by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) on February 15th. The honorary award is in recognition of Prof Marleen’s highest level of dedication and achievement towards the advancement of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the development of women’s healthcare in Kenya and the region. The honorary fellowships are the highest awards by the RCOG and are given following rigorous ex screening and vetting by the Council. RCOG awards the Fellowships of honoris causa in recognition of the work of individuals who are not members of the global association but who have contributed to the advancement of 0bstetrics and gynaecology, women’s health services or work of the RCOG.

Congratulations Marleen from the ICRH family!

Prof. Ines Keygnaert wins Lucien De Coninck Prize

The Lucien De Coninck Prize is a prize that is awarded every two years. It goes to the person who combines high-quality scientific research with humanistic and freely inspired social engagement. Ines is Assistant Professor in Sexual and Reproductive Health at ICRH. She is also the Team Leader of the "Gender & Violence" Team, focusing on violence prevention & response, sexual and reproductive health rights' violations, and on gender and sexual health promotion in vulnerable populations.

On behalf of the Belgian government, Ines developed, piloted and evaluated the first three Belgian Sexual Assault Care Centres. Thanks to the results of her interviews with 1001 victims, she managed to transform a strictly biological-forensic inspired approach to a holistic and patient oriented approach with a sufficient amount of aftercare.

The combination of her high quality research and all social achievements makes her the laureate of the LDC Prize 2020 in Life Sciences.

The award ceremony will be held on the Sunday morning of the 10th of May in the VC Geuzenhuis in Ghent.

For more information about the Sexual Assault Care Centres visit

Defense of PhD student Ms. Elizabeth Kemigish

March 12th PhD student from Uganda Ms Elizabeth Kemigisha is publically defending her PhD at Ghent University

The title of her thesis is "Comprehensive Sexuality Education for Young Adolescents in Uganda: Obstacles, Challenges and Opportunities in the Development, Implementation and Evaluation of a Primary School - Based Program". Her supervisors are Prof. Dr. Kristien Michielsen and Dr. Viola Nilah Nyakato.

For more information:

Blanche Leblon

Blanche is one of the new colleagues at the French speaking Chat after sexual violence team at ICRH Belgium.

Blanche is recently graduated as a clinical psychologist at ULB (Brussels), she continued her education through a formation about victimology and psycho-traumatology. Afterwards, she was hoping for a job in the area of psycho-trauma and found this incredible project. She is very excited about new clinical methods and the Chat after Sexual Violence is a great opportunity for her to start her professional life. As a scientific researcher, Blanche Leblon started working for the Chat after sexual violence three evenings a week, in French at ICRH Belgium.



Laura Keunebrock

Also Laura joined the French speaking Chat after sexual violence team at ICRH Belgium.

Laura graduated last year in June as a clinical psychologist at Ghent University. Afterwards she worked as a consultant for a few months, but her heart soon yearned for the clinical world again. So she ended up in the project Chat after Sexual Violence at ICRH Belgium. On 02/03 she started a new adventure as a scientific researcher on the pilotage of the chatline project after sexual violence.



Lusambili AM, Naanyu V, Wade TJ, Mossman L, Mantel M, Pell R, Ngetich A, Mulama K, Nyaga L, Obure J, Temmerman M. Deliver on Your Own: Disrespectful Maternity Care in rural Kenya. PLoS One. 2020 Jan 7;15(1):e0214836. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0214836. eCollection 2020. PMID: 31910210. Full text:

Ngugi AK, Odhiambo R, Agoi F, Lakhani A, Orwa J, Obure J, Mang'ong'o D, Luchters S, Munywoki C, Omar A, Temmerman M. Cohort Profile: The Kaloleni/Rabai Community Health and Demographic Surveillance System. Int J Epidemiol. 2019 Dec 23. pii: dyz252. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyz252. [Epub ahead of print] No abstract available.  Full text:

Ngongo CJ, Raassen T, Lombard L, van Roosmalen J, Weyers S, Temmerman M. Delivery mode for prolonged, obstructed labour resulting in obstetric fistula: a retrospective review of 4396 women in East and Central Africa. BJOG. 2019 Dec 17. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.16047. [Epub ahead of print].  Full text:   

Manuel B, Roelens K, Tiago A, Keygnaert I, Valcke V. Medical Curricula on Intimate Partner Violence in Mozambique. Currículo Médico sobre Violência Perpetrada pelo Parceiro Íntimo em Moçambique. Acta Med Port 2020 Jan;33(1):22-30. Full text:

Liesenborgs, J., Hendrickx, D.M., Kuylen, E., Niyukuri, D., Hens, N., Delva, W. SimpactCyan 1.0: An Open-source Simulator for Individual-Based Models in HIV Epidemiology with R and Python Interfaces. Sci Rep 9, 19289 (2019).  Full text:  

Perehudoff SK, Alexandrov NV, Hogerzeil HV. Legislating for universal access to medicines: a rights-based cross-national comparison of UHC laws in 16 countries. Health Policy and Planning. 2019 Dec 1;34(Supplement_3):iii48-57 Full text:   

Chandra-Mouli, V; Ferguson, BJ; Plesons, M; Paul, M; Chalasani, S; Amin, A; Pallitto, C; Sommers, M; Avila, R; Biaukula, KVE; Husain, S; Janusonyte, E; Mukherji, A; Nergiz, AI; Phaladi, G ; Porter, C; Sauvarin, J; Camacho-Huber, AV; Mehra, S; Caffe, S; Michielsen, K; Anthony, D; Zhukov, I; Bekker, LG; Celum, CL; Dayton, R; Erulkar, A; Travers, E; Svanemyr, J); Maksud, N; Digolo-Nyagah, L; Diop, NJ; Lhaki, P; Adhikari, K; Mahon, T; Hansen, MM; Greeley, M; Herat, J; Engel, DM. (2019). The Political, Research, Programmatic, and Social Responses to Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the 25 Years Since the International Conference on Population and Development. Journal of adolescent health 65(6): S16-S40. – Full text:

Liang, MJ; Simelane, S; Fortuny, G; Chalasani, S; Weny, K;; Canelos, PS; Jenkins, L; Moller, AB; Chandra-Mouli, V; Say, L; Michielsen, K; Engel, DMC; Snow, R. (2019). The State of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health. JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENT HEALTH 65(6): S3-S15. - Full text:

Frederico, M; Arnaldo, C; Michielsen, K; Decat, P. (2019). Adult and Young Women Communication on Sexuality: a pilot intervention in Maputo-Mozambique. Reproductive Health 16(44). - Full text:

Mutea, L; Ontiri, S; Macharia, S; Tzobotaro, M; Ajema, C; Odiara, V; Kadiri, F; Orero, S; Kabue, M; Michielsen K; Gichangi P. (2019). Evaluating the effectiveness of a combined approach to improve utilization of adolescent sexual reproductive health services in Kenya: a quasi-experimental design study protocol. Reproductive Health  16(153). – Full text:

Endler M, Al Haidari T, Chowdhury S, Christilaw J, El Kak F, Galimberti D, Gutierrez M, Ramirez-Negrin A, Senanayake H, Sohail R, Temmerman M, Danielsson KG; FIGO Committee for Human Rights, Refugees and Violence Against Women. Sexual and reproductive health and rights of refugee and migrant women: gynecologists' and obstetricians' responsibilities. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2020 Apr;149(1):113-119 – Full text:

Sayed S, Chung M, Temmerman M. Point-of-care HPV molecular diagnostics for a test-and-treat model in high-risk HIV populations. Lancet Glob Health. 2020 Feb;8(2):e171-e172.  Full text:

Orwa J, Mantel M, Mugerwa M, Brownie S, Pallangyo ES, Mwasha L, Isangula K, Subi L, Mrema S, Edwards G, Siso D, Selestine E, Mwansisya T, Mbekenga C, Temmerman M. Maternal healthcare services use in Mwanza Region, Tanzania: a cross-sectional baseline survey. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2019 Dec 5;19(1):474. Full text:

Musana JW, Cohen CR, Kuppermann M, Gerona R, Wanyoro A, Aguilar D, Santos N, Temmerman M, Weiss SJ.  Association of differential symptoms of stress to hair cortisol and cortisone concentrations among pregnant women in Kenya. Stress. 2019 Dec 6:1-11. Full text: