A Marriage between Social and Medical Sciences. (Reproductive Health)

By Odoi-Agyarko, Kwasi | UN Chronicle, September 1, 2002 | Go to article overview

A Marriage between Social and Medical Sciences. (Reproductive Health)


Odoi-Agyarko, Kwasi, UN Chronicle


The memorable day was 13 September 1994, in Cairo, Egypt. Representatives from 180 nations, among them thousands of women of every race and creed, jubilant for having won more than they had dared hope for. The world had publicly acknowledged that health and well-being, and equity and equality, for women are important ends in themselves. They had agreed that finding the balance between resources and population, development and sustainability, concerns people, not numbers. This is the Cairo Programme of Action, which has set the course for the next twenty years following the declaration focusing on people and their needs.

This was the beginning of the paradigm shift--from maternal and child health to reproductive health. Many issues can be encompassed within reproductive health concerns. Yet, the diversity and breadth of issues mean that even if a single, universally applicable, all-encompassing definition of reproductive health is ever agreed, it will be almost impossible to operationalize.

I have defined reproductive health as a marriage between social sciences and medical sciences, because it affects everybody. It reflects health in childhood and sets the stage for health even beyond the reproductive years for both women and men. It affects and is affected by the broader context of peoples' lives, their economic circumstances, education, employment, living conditions, family environment, social and gender relationships, and traditional and legal structures within which they live. For example, gender discrimination in intra-household allocation of food may lead to stunted growth and anaemia in girls by the time they reach adolescence. In later life, they may experience obstructed labour due to contracted pelvises, or increased infections or contraceptive contra-indications from anaemia. Reproductive health also includes sexual health, the purpose of which is the enhancement of life and personal relations, and not merely counselling and care related to reproduction and sexually transmitted disea ses (STDs).

The five core areas of reproductive health are healthy childbearing, fertility regulation, maintenance of a healthy reproductive system, sexuality and sexual behaviour, and the social-cultural context within which reproductive behaviour and ill-health takes place. Cost-effective, service-based strategies for preventing or treating reproductive health problems exist for many of the leading issues in this field. Preventive approaches, in the form of family planning, safer sex, immunizations and breast-feeding promotion programmes, are at the heart of efforts to combat unwanted and unplanned pregnancy, STDs, HIV/AIDS, induced abortion, maternal morbidity and mortality, and general ill-health.

All nations accepted that the aims of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action were realistic and achievable because it responds to people's needs, involves the participation of communities, has the greatest impact for most of the people, and is affordable and sustainable, based on existing infrastructures, with revitalization, reorganization and integration, and it implies real location of resources. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Marriage between Social and Medical Sciences. (Reproductive Health)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.