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GHF2014 – PS14 – Integrating Sexual and Reproductive Health Care in Humanitarian Interventions

PS14 TUESDAY, 15 APRIL 2014 ROOM: 18 ICON_Fishbowl
Integrating Sexual and Reproductive Health Care in Humanitarian Interventions
Dr. Doris Schopper
Professor at the medical faculty of the University of Geneva and director of CERAH, Switzerland
Dr. Anne Golaz
Lecturer and researcher at CERAH, Switzerland
Ms. Wilma Doedens
Technical Adviser on Reproductive Health in Emergencies, Humanitarian Response, UNFPA, Switzerland
Dr. Lisa Thomas
Medical Officer, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization, Switzerland
Ms. Nelly Staderini
Référente médicale- Santé de la reproduction, Reproductive Health Advisor, MSF, Switzerland
Problems related to sexual and reproductive health are the leading cause of death and ill health for women of childbearing age globally. In crises, this vulnerability increases, while access to services decreases. The urgent need for life-saving sexual and reproductive health services has often been neglected and not prioritized in humanitarian responses.  Speakers from UN agencies and INGOs will give a brief overview of some of their sexual and reproductive health programmes, discuss recent achievements, challenges in integrating sexual and reproductive healthcare in humanitarian interventions and ways to advocate for better access to these services during crises.

SCHOPPER-DorisDr. Doris Schopper
Professor at the medical faculty of the University of Geneva and director of CERAH, Switzerland

She obtained a medical degree at the University of Geneva (1978), trained as a specialist in Internal Medicine (1986) and completed a Doctor in Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (1992).

Between 1982 and 1990 Doris Schopper spent several years with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in the field. She was president of the Swiss branch of MSF (1991–1998) and twice president of the MSF International Council during this period. In 2001 Doris Schopper was asked to constitute an Ethics Review Board for MSF International.

Since then she has chaired the Board coordinating the ethical review of MSF research proposals and providing advice on ethical matters to the organisation.

Doris Schopper also worked as health policy adviser in the Global Programme on AIDS at WHO headquarters in Geneva (1992-95).

Further international work includes two years as senior health policy adviser at the Swiss Tropical Institute and developing several policies and strategies for WHO (e.g. guideline for policy makers on national policies for violence and injury prevention; strategy for mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Europe; WHO-wide strategy on child and adolescent health).

Professor Schopper has also been responsible for the development of health policies and strategies at the national and regional level in Switzerland (e.g. Swiss National Cancer Control Programme 2005-2010; framework to prevent obesity at the national level; comprehensive health policy for the canton of Geneva). She is member of the board of Pro Victimis Foundation-Geneva since 2003, and president since 2010.

In November 2012, Doris Schopper was appointed member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).


  • Director
  • Member of the Scientific Committees of the CAS
  • Coordinator CAS Health in Humanitarian Emergencies
  • Co-responsible Course Health Interventions in Humanitarian Crises

Fields of Interest:

  • Public health in humanitarian contexts
  • Development and analysis of health policy
  • Research ethics in humanitarian contexts
  • Ethics of humanitarian medical intervention
  • HIV-Aids, Cancer


Golaz-AnneDr. Anne Golaz
Lecturer and researcher at CERAH, Switzerland

She obtained her Medical Doctor degree and Doctorate in Medicine at the University of Geneva, and a MPH at the University of Washington. She’s Board Certified in Public Health and General Preventive Medicine. She has over 20 years of field experience in humanitarian work and  graduate and post-graduate education in public health. She’s worked as a medical epidemiologist for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; as a senior advisor for UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia in Kathmandu and Geneva Office, and for WHO HQ and Regional Offices in Cairo and New Dehli.

Role at the CERAH

  • Member of the Scientific Committees of the CAS Health in Humanitarian Emergencies and CAS Disaster Management
  • Coordinator CAS Health in Humanitarian Emergencies
  • Coordinator of the Research Methodology course (MAS-DAS)
  • Co-leader of the course Health Interventions in Humanitarian Crises (MAS-DAS week)
  • Co-leader TS Advocacy for Humanitarian Projects in Health

Fields of interest

  • Public health and epidemiology
  • Reproductive health in humanitarian emergencies
  • Mental health in humanitarian emergencies
  • Genocide prevention
  • Community capacity building
  • Research and evidence generation in humanitarian contexts


Ms. Wilma Doedens

Wilma Doedens is the Technical Adviser on Reproductive Health in Emergencies of the Humanitarian Response Branch of UNFPA. She has worked with UNFPA since 2002. Prior to this she worked with WHO.

Wilma is a Medical Doctor with a public health and reproductive health background. She has extensive field experience in coordinating and implementing reproductive health services in both humanitarian and development settings, working within national health systems as well as with NGOs such as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC).

She coordinated the writing and publication of the Inter-Agency Field Manual for Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Gender-Based Violence Guidelines, and she is responsible for ensuring technical review and quality improvement of the Inter-Agency Reproductive Health Kits designed to support the implementation of priority reproductive health interventions in disasters.


Dr. Lisa Thomas

Lisa Thomas, MD is a Medical Officer in the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization in Geneva, where she serves as the focal point for sexual and reproductive health in humanitarian settings.  She is a U.S. Board Certified Obstetrician Gynecologist with subspecialty training in family planning. Prior to joining WHO, she worked for humanitarian, development and donor agencies in over twenty developing countries including conflict and post-conflict settings. She has covered an expansive breadth of public and private sector projects in maternal and reproductive health policy, program design, training, research and monitoring and evaluation.


Ms. Nelly Staderini

Since more than 3 years, Nelly Staderini is in charge of the  Sexual and Reproductive Health and sexual violence in the medical department of Doctors Without Borders in Geneva. After initial training in midwifery and a Public Health Diploma in France, she practiced  in Parisian hospitals and had various functions in humanitarian missions abroad ( Mali , Cambodia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Guinea , Chad and Burundi ) for non -governmental organizations. She has worked on maternal health issues in general and sexual violence, prevention and treatment of obstetric fistula and the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in particular. She is the author of academic works dealing with training of TBAs in Cambodia and midwives in Chad as well as two books: Sage-femme en Afghanistan (Cheminements Editions , 2003) and l' art revisité des matrones, naissances contemporaines en question ( Faustroll Edition, 2011).

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