WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research including the Special Programme for Human Reproduction (WHO/RHR/HRP) has convened a consultation with Young Health Professionals on self-initiated interventions (SII) for sexual and reproductive health & Rights (SRHR). The IFMSA, the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), Masters of Public Health Students from the University of Southern California and came together to give an in-depth discussion and interprofessional dialogue on this new field of work. Speakers of the event have included Dr Ian Askew – the Director of the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research (WHO RHR), Diah Saminarsih – WHO Senior Advisor on gender and youth, Dr James Kiarie – Coordinator of Human Reproduction Team (WHO RHR), Basem Mohamed from WHO Health workforce department, as well as UN agencies (Luisa Cabal from UNAIDS, Petra Ten-hoope Bender from UNFPA). Meeting was facilitated and coordinated by Dr Manjulaa Narasimhan (WHO RHR) and Dr Michalina Drejza (Consultant, WHO RHR).
The principle of the meeting was that everyone had an active role in the conversation, hence the IFMSA members were given the opportunity to chair, speak or facilitate the sessions. The goal of the sessions was to identify best practices, gaps and challenges of SRHR in the medical curricula and to gather considerations on how to transform health workers into active agents for change in the context of human rights, gender equality and social determinants of health.
We believe that SIIs in SRHR are a powerful tool that should be worked into medical curricula as they are certainly key to empower and enable people to make more informed decisions about their health, reduce inequalities and serve as a tool to achieve Universal Health Coverage.