READY Guidance: Maternal and Newborn Health cover image: Trizer, three days old, with her mother Metrine outside their home in Bungoma, Kenya. Image credit: Sarah Waiswa / Save the Children

When Outbreaks Occur, the Reproductive Health Needs of Women and Girls Do Not Stop!

12 JULY 2023 | 08:00 EST / 13:00 BST / 15:00 EAT | Global Launch of Operational Guidance for Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, and Newborn Health Services in Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Watch the recording:

Sexual, reproductive, maternal, and newborn health (SRMNH) services are lifesaving, essential, and time critical. During infectious disease outbreaks, health systems are disrupted and can collapse as resources are diverted to the response, while the SRMNH needs of the community persist.

READY, together with the Inter-Agency Working Group for Reproductive Health in Crises (IAWG) and the International Rescue Committee, has developed two companion guidance documents to support health actors to maintain critical SRMNH services during infectious disease outbreaks in humanitarian settings and to ensure SRMNH considerations are integrated within outbreak readiness and response.

In the global webinar launch on July 12th, 2023, panelists from International Rescue Committee, UNICEF, and Population Reference Bureau shared their experiences providing SRMNH services during an outbreak and discussed how these guidance documents can be used in the preparedness and response phases to ensure health services for women and girls are maintained.


  • Janet Meyers, Senior Humanitarian Advisor for Reproductive Health, Save the Children International: Janet was involved in developing the two guidance documents on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Maternal Newborn Health during Infectious Disease Outbreaks.
  • Maria Tsolka, Senior Humanitarian Reproductive Health Advisor, Save the Children International: Maria is the lead for country level trainings on the two guidance documents on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights during Infectious Disease Outbreaks.

Presenter: Alison Greer, Senior Advisor at the Interagency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises. Alison works at the IAWG secretariat.


  • Fatima Gohar, Maternal, Newborn & Adolescent Health Specialist, UNICEF: Fatima has worked with the UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office since 2017, with extensive experience spanning two decades across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Her role involves providing strategic and technical support to 21 countries in the region, assisting them in implementing and expanding high-impact interventions in both development and humanitarian contexts. Fatima is a passionate advocate for providing quality healthcare services to all women and children, regardless of their circumstances. She firmly believes that timely access to quality healthcare is a fundamental right of every mother and newborn.
  • Reena Khaiya Atuma, Health System Strengthening Technical Officer, Population Reference Bureau: Reena has a background in health system strengthening and public finance management and with over seven years of experience in public budget and policy analysis, she has developed expertise in various aspects of the field. Her work primarily focuses on conducting analyses of national and subnational health budgets, which involves assessing the allocation and utilization of financial resources in the health sector. In addition to budget analysis, Reena is also proficient in capacity building of non-state actors in public finance management. She is skilled in integrating gender considerations into budgeting processes to ensure that the needs and priorities of both women and men are considered. Reena has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with Information Technology from Maseno University. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in health economics and policy at the University of Nairobi.
  • Dr. Abu Syem Md Shahin, Senior Health Coordinator, International Rescue Committee (IRC): Dr. Shahin provides strategic vision and technical leadership to the health program for the Rohingya response in Cox’s Bazar, as well as in disaster-prone areas of Bangladesh. Prior to joining IRC, Dr. Shahin held a position where he provided technical support to all health projects within Plan International’s Health Program in Bangladesh. His responsibilities encompassed various aspects of health, with a particular focus on Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Sexual and Reproductive Health, and Primary Healthcare. Additionally, he has served as an adjunct faculty member in several universities, where he has shared his knowledge and experience in the field of Public Health. Dr. Shahin has achieved an MSc in Public Health with distinction, specializing in Global Health and Health Promotion, from the University of East London, UK.

Access the guidance documents below (available in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic):

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This event was hosted by the READY initiative, led by Save the Children, and funded by the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance.

United States Agency for International Development Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health, Save the Children, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, UK Med, EcoHealth Alliance, Mercy Malaysia

यह वेबसाइट अमेरिकी लोगों के सहयोग से संभव हुई है यूनाइटेड स्टेट्स एजेंसी फॉर इंटरनेशनल डेवलपमेंट (यूएसएआईडी) रेडी पहल के तहत। रेडी (संक्षिप्त नाम नहीं) यूएसएआईडी द्वारा समर्थित है  लोकतंत्र, संघर्ष और मानवीय सहायता ब्यूरोअमेरिकी विदेशी आपदा सहायता कार्यालय (ओएफडीए)  और इसका नेतृत्व किया जाता है बच्चों को बचाएं  के साथ साझेदारी में  मानवीय स्वास्थ्य के लिए जॉन्स हॉपकिन्स केंद्र, द  संचार कार्यक्रमों के लिए जॉन्स हॉपकिन्स केंद्र यूके-मेडइकोहेल्थ एलायंस, और दया मलेशिया. इस वेबसाइट की सामग्री सेव द चिल्ड्रेन की एकमात्र जिम्मेदारी है। इस वेबसाइट पर दी गई जानकारी आवश्यक रूप से यूएसएआईडी, किसी या सभी कंसोर्टियम भागीदारों या संयुक्त राज्य सरकार के विचारों को प्रतिबिंबित नहीं करती है, और यह अमेरिकी सरकार की आधिकारिक जानकारी नहीं है।