Scientific Knowledge Dissemination and Reproductive Health Promotion in Africa: The Case of AJRH

16 April, 2019

Dear HIFA colleagues,

The African Journal of Repreuctive Health is a leading example of success in African medical publishing. All articles are available open-access and the journal is exceptional in recognising the multilingualism of its readership, publishing many of its articles (in full) in French alongside English.

Below is an editorial by Babatunde Ahonsi of the Ford Foundation, which has provided support to the journal. A translation in French is also provided on the website.

CITATION: Editorial: Scientific Knowledge Dissemination and Reproductive Health Promotion in Africa: The Case of AJRH

Babatunde Ahonsi

Resident Representative, United Nations Population Fund, Beijing, China

*For Correspondence: Email:


'There are at least three basic reasons for the indispensability of scientific knowledge dissemination to the improvement of reproductive health in Africa. First, Africa is the only major region of the world with extremely heavy burdens of reproductive ill-health, the main causes of which proven low-cost solutions are known but have not been implemented on a massive scale in many of the countries that make up the continent1. Second, several key reproductive health (RH) issues including family planning (FP), sexual practices, pregnancy, sexual and gender-based violence, sexuality education, abortion, and infertility have persistently been shaped by widespread misinformation, myths, ignorance and a culture of silence. Third, most of the published scientific evidence on a number of critical RH issues in Africa are produced in other geographies and culture areas4,5. Thus, their associated recommendations and policy prescriptions are sometimes irrelevant or inappropriate to countries in Africa especially for RH outcomes that are largely determined by sociocultural beliefs, attitudes and practices.'

The key need therefore was for regular production and dissemination of rigorous scientific evidence and analysis on Africa, and especially by Africans, on the determinants, correlates and consequences of the major reproductive health challenges confronting Africa. This was and remains the gap that the African Journal of Reproductive Health (AJRH) has been working so hard to narrow in the last 20 years.,,

As a scholar-practitioner in this field, I had the rare privilege, for 11 unbroken years as a Senior Programme Officer with the Ford Foundation (1997-2008), of working to support the efforts of the Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) at building the AJRH into a world-class scientific journal...'

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Multilingualism

Joint Coordinator, HIFA Project on Family Planning

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: