Volume 110, Issue Supplement p. S3-S6
PreCongress workshop

Addressing critical gaps in achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH): The case for improving adolescent SRH, preventing unsafe abortion, and enhancing linkages between SRH and HIV interventions

Michael Takura Mbizvo

Corresponding Author

Michael Takura Mbizvo

Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Corresponding author. Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization, Avenue Appia 20, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.Search for more papers by this author
Shahida Zaidi

Shahida Zaidi

Institute of Ultrasonography and Ultrasound Clinic, Karachi, Pakistan

Search for more papers by this author
First published: 07 May 2010
Citations: 32
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are the authors and do not reflect those of WHO and its Member States.


The new target for achieving universal access to reproductive health was integrated within the revised Millennium Development Goal framework in October 2008, following reaffirmation of this ICPD goal at the 2005 World Summit. To achieve this goal, the Alliance for Women's Health identified 3 issues needing urgent attention: (1) adolescent sexual and reproductive health; (2) unsafe abortions and related mortality and morbidity; and (3) HIV prevention and care. These themes were discussed in Cape Town at the FIGO 2009 Precongress Workshop convened by the Alliance. The critical gaps identified by the Workshop included: the lack of information on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues for adolescents, such as safe sexual practices, contraception, risks related to early childbearing; unsafe abortion and its adverse consequences; and inadequate linkages between sexual and reproductive health and HIV interventions that result in missed opportunities for addressing both. Recommendations included the use of innovative information dissemination techniques, ensuring access to family planning and comprehensive abortion care to the full extent allowed by national laws, in accordance with FIGO and WHO guidelines, and promotion of universal HIV counseling and testing with opt-out strategies within SRH services and information on SRH in all HIV services.