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Reproductive Health Matters announces publication of its themed issue

Amsterdam, December 18, 2012 - Sexual and reproductive morbidities are not a priority in health policy. They do not feature among donors favourite health initiatives and remain outside the global health agenda. In many parts of the world practice is stubbornly failing to catch up with national policies, leaving shortfalls in every area of care. This, despite the enormous impact such morbidities have on the lives of women, men and their families, is something that is illustrated in a number of papers published in the latest issue of Reproductive Health Matters (RHM) which describe devastating personal experiences.

Editor of RHM, Marge Berer characterises this lack of priority as: "A distortion of the global public health agenda and everything we know about addressing the burden of disease. It should send up alarm signals [as to] what the content and focus of the Sustainable Development Goals related to health should be."

The issue captures a range of perspectives focusing not just on clinical issues, but also health law and policy, service delivery, the social and political determinants of health, and the personal and professional experiences of women, men and service providers. For example, in the paper titled, 'No safe place for children' by Laura Wick and Sahar Hassan, women and midwives in Gaza bear witness to the experience of delivering babies while under military attack from Israel.

Papers included are from Albania, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Central America, Chile, India, Kenya, Laos, Nepal, Peru, Poland, Sri Lanka, sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Yemen and address a plethora of sexual and reproductive morbidities including: complications following treatment for fistula; the threat of untreatable gonorrhoea; regulation of breast implants; services for sexual violence; maternal health; cervical cancer; uterine prolapse, infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease; and more. Some papers address prevailing myths including the beliefs that female genital mutilation can be used to treat genital infections, and that children born through IVF technology are monsters.

One of the non-theme papers looks at the eight new types of female condoms that are in the pipeline, and may reduce costs and increase choice for couples who want to use them.

Contact: Lisa Hallgarten

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