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Marleen Temmerman

Professor Marleen Temmerman is Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Aga Khan University (AKU) Hospital Nairobi and Director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health AKU -East-Africa. For the last three years she was the Director of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) at the World Health Organization (WHO), in Geneva. 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, clinicians, consumers and civil society, advocates and women's groups, to identify and address priorities for research to improve women's health from a rights- based perspective.


She is a full Professor OB/GYN at the Ghent University in Belgium. As an obstetrician she supervised over 18,000 births in many parts of the world. Her interest is women’s health and rights. She is the Founding Director of the International Centre of Reproductive Health (ICRH) at Ghent University with sister organizations in Kenya and Mozambique and a large global collaborative network. She has a strong academic background with over 500 publications and books in the area of women’s health, many PhD students in Europe, Africa, Latin-America and China, and several awards and honours.

In 2007, Prof Temmerman was elected as a 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 a 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 the UN Secretary General 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 from the MDGs to the SDGs. She is also a member of the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the post-2015 world, and a Consultant for the WHO Cluster ‘Families, Women and Children’.

She is a member of the advisory group of the African First Ladies on Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer, chaired by HE the First Lady of Kenya, and a member of the Maisha Maarifa HIV/SRH Research Hub of the Kenyan NACC that will enhance access to HIV/SRH research and information to stakeholders and decision makers at all levels including the Counties. She is a Senior Fellow in the Institute for Global Health Diplomacy in Geneva, and Senior WHO Advisor in Women, Adolescent and Child Health.

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