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The Conversation: Achieve progress by investing in women’s sexual and reproductive health

Photo credit: AU-UN IST photo/Stuart Price

Without investing in women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, the world cannot drive societal progress to achieve the Sustainable Development goals, argues Zeba Sathar, Pakistan Country Director for the Population Council and Marleen Temmerman, Director of the Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Aga Khan University.

 As members of the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, convened in 2016, the authors found that around the world, sexual and reproductive health services are fragmented, duplicated, and inefficient.

Sathar and Temmerman recommend that governments, multilateral organizations, and advocates embrace the Lancet Commission’s recommended package of essential sexual and reproductive health interventions and push for its inclusion in national and international health planning.

It’s also crucial for health ministries and service providers to consider how and where to introduce these interventions into the health care system. They must also work out how best to integrate sexual and reproductive health interventions into other health care services.

Many developing countries are not currently equipped to provide the full spectrum of interventions. But that does not preclude them from committing to achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and to making continual and steady progress, regardless of their starting point.

Read more at the Conversation.