Global Health Initiatives

WHO Collaborating Center goal to improve global sexual and reproductive health

The Department of Maternal and Child Health is the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Research Evidence for Sexual and Reproductive Health and is directed by Dr. Herbert Peterson. Originally designated in 2008 and redesignated in 2012, the center’s mission is to support the United Nations agencies’ effort to improve global sexual and reproductive health based on the strongest possible science. This, in turn, supports WHO’s mission in the creation and implementation of its evidence-based guidance for reproductive health polices, programs and practices. On-going work with WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have resulted in the following key contributions to women’s health. WHO publications have been translated into numerous languages and have been incorporated into national family planning guidelines in over 50 countries. mch_ccmmwr_2014

  • 2009 4th edition of WHO Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use – guidance on who is medically eligible for what method of contraception
  • 2008 update of WHO Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use – guidance on how best to use contraceptive methods safely and effectively
  • 2010 U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use – CDC adaptation of WHO guidelines
  • 2013 U.S. Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use – CDC adaptation of WHO guidelines
  • 2014 updating of WHO Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use and WHO Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use

Dr. Peterson served as co-chair for the expert working group that supported the development of the U.S. adaptation and was first author of an editorial that accompanied the publication of key systematic reviews prepared as evidence for the guideline process. (Peterson HB, Cates W Jr. Evidence-based medicine in action: The United States selected practice recommendations for contraceptive use. Contraception 2013;87(5):509-10.)

The Collaborating Center gives UNC-Chapel Hill the opportunity to play a leadership role in translating maternal and child health research into global practice. Increasingly, the focus for this effort is implementation science and will become an increasingly important priority for the Department over time. The Center’s current efforts on implementation science are focused on support of the UN Secretary General’s Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health.