Lectures and seminars

World Health Day with UNFPA: SRHR in humanitarian response – an overlooked issue

2016-04-0716:30 to 18:00 Jacob BerzeliusCampus Solna

On the occasion of World Health Day, Karolinska Institutet welcomes you to a seminar on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in humanitarian response with Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of the lead UN agency on sexual and reproductive health, United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA.

How do we ensure the protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls in a crisis-prone world? Everyone thinks about providing tents and food when crises hit, but too often, few think about the needs of a woman who is about to give birth or who has been sexually assaulted or even just lacks basic hygienic needs. Whether women and girls live or die in a crisis often depends on access to basic sexual and reproductive health services like midwives and HIV prevention.

Of the 100 million people in need of humanitarian assistance around the world today, about 26 million are women and adolescent girls in their childbearing years. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian crises, in refugee camps or on the run away from war or natural disasters. Three fifths of maternal deaths today occur in countries that are considered fragile because of conflict or disaster. Pregnancy and childbirth kill 507 women every day in these settings.

  • How can we best strengthen women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights in humanitarian emergencies?
  • What are the needs and measures required?
  • How can humanitarian and development actors work together more efficiently and long-term for the protection of women’s and girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights?

These are some of the questions that Dr.Babatunde Osotimehin, together with the other members of the panel, look forward to discussing with students and young leaders in Sweden.

Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, who holds the rank of Under-Secretary General of the UN, is a medical doctor and public health expert. Dr. Osotimehin has been the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, since January 2011. Ahead of his current appointment, Dr. Osotimehin was the Health Minister in Nigeria, and previously Director General of the Nigerian National Agency for Control of HIV and AIDS.

Per Örneus is the Ambassador for Humanitarian Affairs. He previously served as Deputy Director General at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and Head of the Department for Multilateral Development Cooperation, based in Stockholm. Prior to that, he served as Ambassador and Deputy Head of Mission at the Swedish Mission to the UN in New York. Among others he has also served as Head of the Humanitarian Section at the MFA in Stockholm.

Anna Mia Ekström is a clinical professor in infectious disease epidemiology focusing on HIV. Professor Ekström is the group leader for the research group Global Health, HIV and SRHR, at the Department of Public Health Sciences at Karolinska Institutet.

Hampus Holmer is an MD/PhD student at Lund University, and member of the Swedish Society of Medicine’s Committee on Global Health. He has carried out internships at the WHO, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and The Lancet, participated in evaluating the Swedish and global responses to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and works actively to increase the interest and focus on global health in Sweden.

Daniel Helldén, a medical student at Karolinska Institutet, Vice Director of the Swedish Organization for Global Health and President of IFMSA Stockholm.
Caroline Olsson, a medical student at Karolinska Institutet and President of the Mother and Child Health Association.


After the seminar, from 17:30-18:00, we invite all participants to stay and take part in an informal mingle over wine and snacks.

The seminar is free of cost but please notice the need for registration in order to participate. You register by following this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights-in-humanitarian-response-tickets-22974024927

Contact person: Karin Båge
Global HealthInternational