Sexual and Reproductive Health Right
Project title: Sexual and Reproductive Health Right project in Ethiopia.
Project area: no geographic limit
Project coordinator: Yirgu G/hiwot (MD).
Project duration: Aug. 2001- Dec.2004.
This is a brief status report of the status of status of sexual and reproductive health right project of ESOG . The project has three phases.
Phase I: With the objective of raising awareness of the obstetrician and gynecologists.
The workshop on violence on women was the first phase of the project. The workshop as undertaken with the following objectives:
Accordingly, the workshop took place on June 3&4, 2002 At the Hilton Hotel Addis Ababa.
The following dignitaries delivered speeches on the opening ceremony of the workshop:
Members of ESOG and RH community attended the panel discussion. On second day members of the society had training on management of child sexual abuse and related issues.
Phase II: has an objective of drafting a national code of ethics on Sexual and reproductive heath.
The following specific objectives were set:
It was initially planned to develop an ethical code for obstetricians and gynecologists as the project guideline states but in discussions conducted it was felt very appropriate to develop the document for all health workers in Ethiopia for the following reasons:
One of the challenges of this specific project is the fact that the code of ethics has to be incorporated into the medical curricula. In Ethiopia all higher institutions are accountable to Ministry of Education, the government being the principal provider of tertiary level education. When it comes to medical education there are five medical schools, which are accountable to five different universities. Curriculum development is quite an extensive process requiring a number of consultative activities and lengthy process of review. Approval is by the senate of the universities. As it is difficult to go through this process, it was felt better that those instructors working in the department of obstetrics and Gynecology of these universities be involved in the process as this would create a sense of ownership, and facilitate its introduction in the teaching activity.
Having identified the key participants in this endeavor, a draft document was prepared after identifying all national resources on the issue and as well as international documents addressing issues of reproductive health.
A zero draft of the proposed code of ethics was circulated for comment by the executive committee of the society. After incorporating all the comment made, a first draft document which contained general issues of ethics, the IPPF client’s bills of rights and the 11 reproductive rights was prepared. This document also contained discussion points with respect to the reproductive rights like issues of maternal mortality, unsafe abortion, STD and HIV and other cultural or traditional issues like early marriage, abduction, rape, trafficking of woman. The intention was to provoke discussion and help participants articulate their role in the above issues and also define common behavior by all categories of health workers. About 100 copies of this document were made available at the 11th annual conference of the Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists which was conducted in June 2003 at the Sheraton hotel, Addis Ababa . This conference was also attended by His Excellency Prof. Giuseppe Benagiano, the Secretary General of FIGO for whom the document has also been given. The ethical code underwent two review process and was finally published in 2004.
In addition, from a number of discussions it has become clear providers are not aware of what constitute reproductive rights. In order to fill this gap and also create awareness on reproductive health rights a poster has been prepared.
Phase III: Has an objective of advocacy on identified areas.
Following the first awareness creation meeting and that of the recommendation by the meeting of steering committee, it was found out that there are a number of outstanding issues in reproductive health in the country. Of these, two problems were considered for this project unsafe abortion, and Violence against women particularly rape with the following objectives.
Activities undertaken are:
Current status: Phased out, Dec 31,2004.
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