Prof. Dr. Marleen Temmerman

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Prof. Dr.  Marleen Temmerman currently serves as Chair, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Aga Khan University Hospital and Director, Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University East Africa (Nairobi, Kenya). Prior she was the Director of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) at the World Health Organization (Geneva, Switzerland). RHR is the main instrument within the United Nations for research in Women’s health, bringing together policy-makers and programmers, scientists, health care providers, consumers and civil society, advocates and women’s groups, to identify and address priorities for research and action to improve women’s health from a rights- based perspective.

As an obstetrician she supervised over 18,000 births in many parts of the world, during her over 30 years of clinical work. Her interest is women’s health and rights. She is also the Founding Director of the International Centre of Reproductive Health (ICRH) at Ghent University with sister research organizations in Kenya and Mozambique, and a large global collaborative academic network of 27 Universities globally. She is Emeritus Professor at the Ghent University in Belgium.

She has a strong academic and scientific background with over 500 publications and books in the area of women’s health, with a Hirsch index of 75. She has supervised many PhD students in Europe, Africa, Latin-America and China and received several awards and honours for her research, policy and advocacy work. Honorary appointments: University of the Western Cape, South-Africa; Free University Brussels, Belgium; National Institute Family Planning Research, China; Concurrent Professor Fudan University, China.

In 2007, Dr Temmerman was elected as Senator in the Belgian Parliament where she was member of the Commission on Social Affairs, and Chair of the Commission on Foreign Affairs. In that capacity, she was member of the European Parliamentary Forum and Chair of the HIV/AIDS Advisory Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

She served as a member of the iERG (independent expert review group), installed by UN Secretary- General Ban-Ki Moon, to raise the accountability in the ‘Every Woman, Every Child’ platform to accelerate MDG 4 and 5. She is one of the penholders of the UN Global Strategy for Women’s, Children and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030, launched by the UNSG and partners in September 2015, transitioning the MDGs to the SDGs.

She is the AKU lead of several women and child health programmes in East-Africa such as the Canadian funded AQCESS  (Access to Quality Care through Extending and Strengthening Health Systems) and IMPACT programmes, the PRECISE research platform (UK-MRC) and several smaller research and capacity building programmes.  She is chairing the regional AKDN (Aga Khan Development Network) maternal-child committee investing in streamlining MCH protocols and developing tools for the AKU and AKHS hospitals across the globe. She is also the Chair of the AKU ERB (Ethical Review Board).