Newsletter March 2010

ICRH Belgium Newsletter

17th of March 2010




Marleen Temmerman wins BMJ Lifetime Achievement Award

ICRH director prof. dr. Marleen Temmerman has won the prestigious British Medical Journey ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

The BMJ Lifetime Achievement Award is granted  annually to a person ‘who has, over their working lifetime so far, made a unique and substantial contribution to improving health care’. For the 2010 Life Time Achievement Award, the jury shortlisted 10 nominees out of 117 candidates who had been proposed by the scientific community. The readers of the BMJ website were offered the opportunity to cast votes on one of these 10 candidates. Around 40,000 votes have been registered from all over the world, and resulted in a convincing appointment of Marleen Temmerman as this year’s award winner.
 During the award ceremony which took place on March 10 in the London Hilton hotel, Marleen was praised as ‘a true champion for health care during her career – a pioneer for women’s health and one of the few clinicians who have managed to successfully combine politics and medicine to improve health care’.
Marleen was - of course - very pleased with this  outstanding recognition of her impressive career and expressed the hope that this award will contribute to bringing sexual and reproductive health issues under the attention of public and policy makers, and to inspiring the scientific and political communities to advocate for  women's health and rights worldwide.  She also expressed her great admiration for the work of the other nominees, paid tribute to her collaborators. And thanked  all voters worldwide for supporting her.
The complete list of 2010 BMJ award winners can be found at


ICRH Mozambique officially established

The articles of association of ICRH Mozambique have been published in the bulletin of acts of the Republic of Mozambique on February 26, 2010. This publication marks the official birth of ICRH Mozambique as an autonomous organization.

ICRH has been conducting projects in Mozambique (Tete and Maputo) for several years now, but until now this was always done under the responsibility of ICRH Belgium. In the course of 2009, the procedure was initiated to establish ICRH as a separate, independent not-for-profit organization in Mozambique, a process that has now been successfully concluded with the official publication of the articles of association . The founding members are both people connected to Ghent University/ICRH Belgium, and Mozambican citizens. At the General Assemblee of ICRH Mozambique of March 11, 2010, a Scientific Council was elected. This Scientific Council will function as a Board of Directors. The next steps, the composition of a management committee and the set up of the administration, will be taken in the next few weeks and months.
More information: Laurence Hendrickx,



Global Consultation on Migrant Health

ICRH participated in the Global Consultation on Migrant Health , organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Government of Spain.

Some 100 officials, academics and experts gathered in Madrid from 3  to 5 March 2010. Migration is one of the main social determinants of health in the 21st Century. Many factors limit migrants’ access to health services, e.g.  stigma, discrimination, social exclusion, language and cultural differences, separation from family and socio-cultural norms, and financial and administrative hurdles. The Madrid Consultation aims to address these challenges and to overcome obstacles such as the ability to generate comparable global data on the health of migrants and to identify policies and legislation that advance their health.
Peter Decat, the ICRH representative, was reporter for a working group on migrant-friendly health systems. During the discussions ICRH focused on  the importance of actions to protect the sexual and reproductive health and rights of migrants and on the need for further research into the relation between migration and sexual and reproductive health. Migrants, particularly undocumented migrants, are often victims of gender based violence. The vulnerable health situation of migrant populations is tragically reflected by a worse outcome of  sexual and reproductive health indicators compared to residents. 
More information:


Book launch Women under Pressure

On March 8, ICRH successfully launched the book “Vrouwen onder Druk. Schendingen van de seksuele gezondheid bij kwetsbare vrouwen”. (Women under Pressure. Violations of sexual health of vulnerable women).

In this book, by Els Leye and Marleen Temmerman (eds.),  are tackling forms of violence against women that are less visible in our society: female genital mutilation, child marriage, violence against refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants, barriers in access to health care for undocumented migrants, honour related violence.
The book can be purchased in the book store or at ICRH. For more information, please contact, tel 09-3323564


Dessert Flower: film on female genital mutilation

Desert Flower pictures the life of Waris Dirie, a former Somalian top model. Waris fled her home in Somalia at 13, when her father decides to marry her off to an old man.

With the help of her grandmother, Waris leaves Somalia to work in London, where she is discovered by a famous fashion photographer. Waris becomes one of the most important international top models, but she cannot forget the trauma she suffered as a girl child during her excision and she becomes a dedicated activist, fighting against female genital mutilation.
Female genital mutilation affects 3 million girls each year. It is a serious violation of women’s rights and a form of violence against women. Worldwide, between 100 and 130 million women are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation.
Official movie website:





Martine De Backer

Martine De Backer started working at ICRH Belgium as a volunteer.

Martine De Backer holds a degree in Dutch and English and retired after a career of 33 years in secondary education. She contributes to the ICRH work by assisting in administration, translating and proofreading  texts.
More information:






Anke Van Vossole

Anke Van Vossole joined the ‘Sexual and Genderrelated Violence Team’ of ICRH Belgium.

Anke holds a master degree in Sociology of Culture and Religion, and a master degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology. Since 2006 she has been working as a volunteer on gender issues as  coordinator of the women’s rights team of the Flemish section of Amnesty International.  She is involved there in projects on female genital mutilation, domestic violence, killings of women in Central America, sexual violence against women in conflict areas, and maternal health. She has been working on a research proposal concerning gender-sensitivity of reparations for victims of gross and massive human rights violations in post-conflict situations with a case study on Guatemala.
Anke is reinforcing the SGBV team at ICRH, where she will help in, among others, organizing the course ‘Coordination of multi-sectoral response to gender-based violence in humanitarian settings’.
More information:


Vacancy for Research and Science Director at ICRH Kenya

ICRH Kenya has a vacancy for a highly motivated and enthusiastic  research and science director to be stationed in Mombasa.

The main tasks are:
-Prepare, implement and document clinical and epidemiological projects
-search for calls, proposals and participate in team proposal writing
-Train and supervise local programmatic staff
-Work closely with local and international co-investigators
-Produce scientific output
-Represent ICRH K in national and international conferences and meetings
-General management tasks as appropriate

Some of the job requirements:
-Medical university degree
-completed or initiated PhD
-Minimum  5 years experience in project management

For more information please contact