International Centre for Reproductive Health - ICRH

Presentation of unit

The International Center for Reproductive Health (ICRH), founded in 1994,  is a multidisciplinary center that coordinates research, training and service activities to promote and protect sexual and reproductive health and rights in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

ICRH Belgium is part of ICRH Global vzw and has two sister organizations in Kenya and Mozambique.

Since 2004, ICRH has been recognized as a WHO Collaborating Centre and coordinates since 2016 the Academic Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Policy (ANSER).

From September 2019 we are also coordinator of the inter-university master's degree in Global Health.

Topics 

ICRH wants to contribute to making sexual and reproductive health services more accessible by integrating the following topics:

  • family planning and contraception;
  • safe motherhood, aspects related to unintended pregnancy;
  • sexually transmitted infections, including HIV / AIDS and cervical cancer;
  • discouraging harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and early / forced marriages;
  • Sexual and gender-based violence.

Main activities

  • WHO collaborating centre on Sexual and Reproductive Health since 2004
  • Training: We organize training for health workers, institutes, community workers, … on the topics of violence, mother and child health, abortion, key populations
  • Master in Global Health: Since 2019, ICRH is coordinator of the inter-university Master in Global Health. Institutes involved: UGent, KULeuven, UAntwerpen, UHasselt, VUB
  • Approach to sexual and reproductive health: ICRH advocates recognizing reproductive health as a basic human right for every man and woman. Through research, training, intervention and recommendations, the ICRH wants to contribute to the promotion, protection and fulfillment of this right.

Research topics

  • Family planning and contraception;
  • Safe motherhood, aspects related to unintended pregnancy;
  • Sexually transmitted infections, including HIV / AIDS and cervical cancer;
  • Discouragement of harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and early / forced marriages;
  • Sexual and gender-based violence.

External collaboration

ICRH conducts fundamental, epidemiological, social, clinical, health systems as well as policy research related to the themes listed above, but beside that, the Centre is also active in:

  • Training and capacity building: academic programmes (such as Masters and PhDs), courses and workshops but also on-site training, monitoring, evaluation and supervision to strengthen local capacity
  • Reproductive health services: advice, consultancies, technical assistance, policy support, designing, planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation
  • Advocacy: awareness raising at all levels (including the scientific and the political), and keeping sexual and reproductive health and rights on the policy agenda.

Services and expertise

The main fields of expertise are:

  • HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) with a particular focus on prevention
  • Maternal Health including mother & child health, with specific attention for safe motherhood and family planning
  • Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV), harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced/child marriage
  • Integration of sexual and reproductive health and rights within health systems
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

Most recent projects

  • 2019-2023 – H2020 EarLy dEtection of cerVical cAncer in hard-to-reach populations of women through portable and point-of-care HPV Testing (ELEVATE)
  • 2020-20243 REC IN-HeRE: Inclusive Holistic CarE for Refugee and migrant victims of sexual violence
  • 2017-2021: Coordination of ANSER:  Academic Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Policy, Ghent University
  • 2017-2020 SARC: piloting, support and continuation of the  sexual assault referral centres
  • 2019: piloting chat sexual violence in Belgium
  • 2017-2021 BELSPO: UN-MENAMAIS: UNderstanding the MEchanisms, NAture, MAgnitude and Impact of Sexual violence in Belgium
  • 2019-2022 VLIR-uos Team Project: Improving Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health through a Participatory Parent-Child Communication Intervention in Uganda”

List of most important projects

Structure or sub-divisions of the unit

DIRECTOR: Olivier Degomme

SECRETARIAT: Cindy De Muynck

Contacts:

  • VIOLENCE:  Ines Keygnaert
  • ADOLESCENT: Kristien Michielsen
  • MATERNAL HEALTH: An-Sofie Van Parys
  • STIs: Heleen Vermandere
  • POLICY RESEARCH: Emily Peeters
  • MASTER GLOBAL HEALTH: Sofie Vanrobaeys

Most important national and international partnerships

  • ICRH has several governmental en non-governmental collaborations: community based, on national and international level.
  • WHO Collaborating Centre, Academic Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Policy (ANSER), ICRH Mozambique, ICRH Kenya, BE-cause Health, Memoranda of Understanding with: Sensoa, Aga Khan University Kenya (AKU), UNFPA, ENABEL

External website

Icrhb.org

Contact data:

International Centre for Reproductive Health (ICRH) Ghent University
C. Heymanslaan 10 – entrance 75 / ICRH
9000 Ghent
Tel: +32 9 3323564
icrh@ugent.be
icrhb.org