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.

At ICRH our actions are focused around several key principles (also endorsed by the SDGs): leaving no one behind, a life course approach to health,  invest in innovative technologies and consider environmental health sustainability. 


ICRH is focusing on the following thematic areas:

  • (Sexual) violence & gender 

    • Holistic care for victims of (sexual) violence

    • SRHR in hard to reach populations and people in vulnerable situations

    • Intergenerational cycle of violence
    • Genetics & Epigenetica 
  • Sexual Transmitted Infectious
    • Point-of-care testing
    • Preventive screening strategies
  • Parental and newborn health
    • Quality of care (including respectful care)
    • Perinatal mental health
    • Trauma sensitive maternity care o Family planning & abortion 

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: At ICRH we consider access to sexual and reproductive health as a basic human right and aim for sexual and reproductive justice. This means we try to examine and address the structural impacts of colonization, racism, gender and other inequities within health systems on SRHR. 

Research topics

  • (Sexual) violence & gender

  • Sexual Transmitted Infectious

  • Parental and newborn health

  • Family planning & abortion

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.

ICRH is also actively investing in:

Partnerships & Funding:

  • Active involvement of broad array of stakeholders (outside health sciences and/or academia) to take a holistic life-course approach in SRHR.
  • Actively reaching out and linking with policy.
  • Funding that is sustainable and ethically correct.

Societal outreach

  • Advocate for SRHR for people in vulnerable situations.
  • Provide policy support in the field of SRHR.
  • Capacity building (such as trainings) linked to our expertise (see thematic areas).

Services and expertise

The main fields of expertise are:

  • (Sexual) violence & gender

  • Sexual Transmitted Infectious

  • Parental and newborn health

  • Family planning & abortion

Besides this ICRH is investing in education by:

  • Playing an active role in different master programs & supervise PhDs in the field of SRHR
  • Creating a community of highly skilled global health professionals by providing the ManaMa Global Health
  • Advocating for the right to health (in particular for SRHR) in all educational activities

Most recent projects

  • 2021-2024: Male sexual victimisation in transit migration

  • 2021 – 2026 H2020  A Community-based HPV screening Implementation in Low-Income countries (CHILI)

  • 2017-2025: Coordination of ANSER:  Academic Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Policy, Ghent University

  • 2023-2025 – IMAGINE EURO: Improving MAternal Newborn carE in the European Region led by WHO Trieste

  • 2022-2026: Heat Indicators for Global Health (HIGH Horizons): monitoring, Early Warning Systems and health facility interventions for pregnant and postpartum women, infants and young children and health workers

  • 2024: Contraceptive use in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (with UNFPA)

  • 2024: Policy mapping in the context of UHC (with UNFPA)

  • 2023-2024: FOD Project Operation Alert, a support programme for all hospital employees in Belgium, to recognise, discuss and address violence.

  • 2023-2024: Research project on Persons with disabilities and sexual violence, commissioned by the Flemish Government

List of most important projects

Structure or sub-divisions of the unit

DIRECTORS: Olivier Degomme  & Ines Keygnaert

SECRETARIAT: Cindy De Muynck


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

Contact data:

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