For adolescent girls and women, reproductive health services are critical at every stage of life. Yet in many countries, comprehensive reproductive health care, including family planning, is not available or accessible because there are too few trained health professionals to guide patients.

The Center for International Reproductive Health Training (CIRHT) works with medical schools to integrate hands-on, clinical training in comprehensive reproductive health care, including family planning and safe abortion. Together we are committed to training the next generation of doctors, nurses and midwives to be confident, compassionate leaders in their communities.

To learn more, download our fact sheet.

CIRHT Approach

To increase the number of skilled reproductive health professionals, we focus in three areas:

  • Medical Education and Training: Working with faculty to implement an integrated, competency-based reproductive health curriculum, offering medical students/residents clinical instruction and supervised hands-on training in family planning, comprehensive abortion care and other critical areas.
  • Clinical Service: Helping partner medical schools upgrade on-site family planning facilities, equipment and services to support student engagement and learning through provision of effective first-hand patient care.
  • Research: Fostering a culture of inquiry to contribute to the creation, dissemination and application of healthcare knowledge and practice, while measuring the impact of efforts.

CIRHT Ethiopia

In rural Ethiopia, there is only one specialist in obstetrics & gynecology per 1.8 million people.

—Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health’s (FMoH) Health Indicators Survey, 2008

While reproductive health and family planning are part of Ethiopia’s medical curricula, students do not always have supervised hands-on training across the full range of services. As a result, many new doctors, nurses and midwives begin their professional careers without skills critical to meeting the needs of communities they serve.

CIRHT is working with faculty at ten medical schools in Ethiopia to transform how reproductive health training and counseling are integrated into medical education.

As a Center of Excellence for CIRHT Ethiopia, St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa is leading the way in this approach. Since adopting an integrated reproductive health training curriculum in 2012, undergraduate students at St. Paul’s have built their skills in simulation labs, supervised clinical rotations and ongoing mentoring from experienced faculty and residents.

Nearly 80 percent of St. Paul’s graduates trained in this integrated fashion are ably providing and advocating these services, and have requested support to expand the comprehensive reproductive health services they offer to patients in the rural areas where they serve as general practitioners.

Site coordinators and champions work with each medical school’s faculty and students—and collaborate together as a network, to share resources and strengthen opportunities for health professionals.