Current IMAP members 2022-2024
Dr Michael T. Mbizvo DPhil, IMAP Co-Chair. Dr Mbizvo, a professor in reproductive health sciences, is Country Director and Senior Associate for the Population Council in Zambia, as well as a Senior Countries Advisor. Duties have entailed providing research leadership and oversight, to advance sexual and reproductive health (SRH), HIV prevention and care, adolescent and public health; involving implementation science, biomedical and epidemiological designs and methodologies. Prior to joining Population Council, he served as Director for Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization (WHO/HQ), which included the UNDP/UNICEF/UNFPA/WHO/ World Bank Special Program for Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP). As Director at WHO, he provided research leadership to a team of 110 scientific, medical, research and support staff involved in SRH and HIV research, and led collaborations with national and regional partners to strengthen research capacity in middle and low income countries. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, where his publications have been cited or downloaded more than 5,000 times. In addition to serving as Chair of the IPPF’s International Medical Advisory Panel (IMAP), he has been co-Chair of the Scientific Committee of the International Conference on Family Planning; the Global Fund’s Zambia Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM); and is currently also Chair of the Academic, Research and Training Institutions Constituency of the WHO-based Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (PMNCH), Member of the PMNCH Board and Vice Chair of its Knowledge & Evidence Working Group. He has served on several international journal editorial boards including, the BMC Reproductive Health Journal, African Journal of Reproductive Health, and section editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Sexual and Reproductive Health series, Oxford University Press. He considers himself an advocate for SRHR, with strong emphasis on need for research evidence to inform policy, programming and advocacy.
Dr Chipo Gwanzura, MD, MMED, FCOG, IMAP Co-Chair. Dr Gwanzura is an Obstetrician Gynaecologist at the University of Zimbabwe and Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare, Zimbabwe. She is a 2020 -2021 Fogarty University of California Global Health Institute GloCal Fellow, and current fellow on the Advancing Early Diagnosis of Cancer in Southern Africa (AWACAN-ED) study. She is an early career researcher whose goal is to provide quality evidence-based healthcare to women and contribute to finding solutions to reduce the burden of female morbidity and mortality in Zimbabwe, Sub-Saharan Africa and globally. Her current work focuses on postpartum haemorrhage prevention; and cervical, breast and colorectal cancer prevention. Her clinical focus is on minimally invasive surgery. She is undertaking sub-specialty training with the European Academy of Gynaecological Surgery. She is past vice-president of the World Association of Trainees in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (WATOG; 2018 - 2021). Currently she is Chair of Zimbabwe Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ZSOG) Public Relations Committee; committee member of the Zimbabwe Society of Gynaecological Endoscopy (ZSGE); Member of the Knowledge and Evidence Working Group of the Partnership for Maternal, New-born and Child Health (PMNCH); and member of the Committee on Minimal Access Surgery of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). She has presented at local and international conferences and published scientific articles.
Dr Raffaela Schiavon Ermani is an Obstetrician/Gynaecologist and is currently working as Independent Consultant in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. From 2005 to 2017, she served as Country Director of Ipas Mexico, where she strongly contributed to abortion decriminalization and to implementation of public abortion services in Mexico City. Previously, she worked as a specialist doctor in charge of the Biology of Reproduction Service at General Hospital of Mexico (participating in the WHO Multicentre Comparative Trials of two new monthly injectables); initiated the provision of pediatric and adolescent gynaecology and reproductive health services in the National Pediatric Institute, and served as the General Assistant Director of Equity, Gender and Reproductive Health of federal Ministry of Health, being instrumental in the inclusion of emergency contraception in the Mexican Family Planning Norm (2004) and the National Essential Drug list (2005). She also served as head of the Technical Secretariat of the Safe Motherhood Initiative Committee in Mexico; is member of the National Committee of Bioethics and member of Technical Advisory Panel for COVID vaccination. She has published numerous peer reviewed articles and book chapters in national and international journals. In recognition of her academic and advocacy activities, she awards and recognitions, such as the Omecihuatl medal, awarded by the Institute for Women in Mexico City (Inmujeres) in 2005; the title of Commendatore and the Medal of the Star of Italian Solidarity in 2009, by the President of the Italian Republic and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Price Gregorio Pérez-Palacios in Reproductive Health, by the National Academy of Medicine in 2010.
Dr Willibald Zeck is leading UNFPAs Maternal & Newborn Health Program as the Global Maternal and Newborn Health Thematic Fund Coordinator. A former Professor in Obstetrics & Gynecology with a postgraduate Master’s Degree in Humanitarian Assistance & Public Health, Dr Zeck joined UNFPA NYHQ from UNICEF NYHQ where he was the Unit Chief of Global Maternal, Newborn and Adolescent Health. Prior to joining UNICEF HQ, he worked as Chief of Health and Nutrition in the UNICEF Philippines Country Office and as UNICEFs Regional MNH Specialist for South Asia in Kathmandu. Prior to joining the UN, he has worked clinically as an OBGYN for 10 years in low - and high-income settings. Dr Zeck has clinical, research and public health work experience in East Africa, Central Asia, Middle East, South & South East Asia, Australia and Europe. He has led various research and has worked for WHO and various academic institutions. His publication list encompasses more than 120 SRMNAH related publications.
Janet Meyers is a Senior Advisor for Reproductive Health in Emergencies at Save the Children where she provides technical backstop support for SRH/health programs and contributes to the development of organizational SRH resources and tools. She brings over 25 years of international development and humanitarian program experience in maternal and newborn health, family planning, sexual and reproductive health, public health as well as in program design and implementation, training, quality improvement, monitoring and evaluation, health systems strengthening and support, and community health. At the global level, she is actively involved in the Interagency Working Group for RH in Emergencies (IAWG) as a steering committee member for Save the Children and a member of several sub-working groups. She is also co-chair of the Every Newborn Action Plan in Emergencies (ENAP-E) WG. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and a Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences.
Dr Edmore Munongo is currently the Principal Managing Partner and Founder of HEARTS consultancy and a technical expert for Global Fund Local Fund Agent (LFA) in Zimbabwe. He has worked as the technical expert in the area of NCDs for WHO from 2019 to 2021. prior to that he had worked in the southern African region as a consultant in different areas of public health including SRHR and SGBV. These covered countries like Botswana, Malawi, Lesotho and Zimbabwe. He has experience working with several donors and program implementers including Global fund, UN agencies, DFID, USAID, FHI360 among others. A holder of an MBChB, MBA, MPhil, Post Graduate Certificate in Sexual Reproductive Health Research, and a current PhD candidate in Medical Sociology. Edmore has previously worked as the Technical Director of Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council and Population service Zimbabwe between 2012 and 2016. During that time, Edmore thrived to improve access to FP and SRHR to the most marginalized communities using evidence based strategies. This made him a frequent presenter in many fora like the international conference for FP (ICFP). Edmore has led the development of the Botswana FP Strategy and the Zimbabwe FP costed implementation plan among other strategic documents.
Dr Gail Knudson MD, MEd, FRCPC, is a Clinical Professor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine, Adjunct Clinical Professor at the University of Victoria, and Consultant Psychiatrist at Vancouver Coastal Health. Dr. Knudson has participated in many international panels as well as guidelines and consensus committees on transgender health. She is a co-author of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care Version 7 (SOC 7) and is co-lead of the Education and Ethics chapters for the upcoming SOC 8. Dr. Knudson currently serves as Co-Chair of WPATH’s Global Education Institute and is a Past President of WPATH and the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH). Dr Knudson is a member of the WHO Implementing Best Practice (IBP) Network Steering Committee and has also held leadership positions within the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH).
Dr Zozo Nene is an Adjunct professor, a Reproductive Medicine Specialist and an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist. She is Head of the Reproductive & Endocrine unit at Steve Biko Academic Hospital and the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She is a South African representative of WHO-FIGO collaboration on contraception. She participated in the WHO and Partners Stakeholders' Technical Consultation meeting on Hormonal contraception and HIV and various other WHO Stakeholders’ meetings. She is part of the South African National Department of Health’s technical expert advisory team on contraception and infertility. She is one of the scientific experts on the SRHR Curriculum development in South Africa. She is lead author of the National Clinical Guidelines for Safe Conception and Infertility. She is part of the guideline development group for the National Clinical Guidelines for Implementation of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy act and the updated National Contraceptive Clinical Guidelines.
Dr Metin Gülmezoglu is an obstetrician gynaecologist who worked in Turkey, South Africa, United Kingdom and Switzerland. He is currently the Executive Director of Concept Foundation, a nonprofit nongovernmental organization working on improving access to quality-assured sexual and reproductive health medicines and technologies in low- and middle-income countries worldwide based in Geneva, Switzerland and Bangkok, Thailand. Prior to joining Concept Foundation, Metin was working at HRP (the UNDP/ UNFPA/ UNICEF/ WHO/ World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction), World Health Organization, as the Coordinator for Maternal and Perinatal Health and Abortion. Metin published more than 300 articles and book chapters and gave numerous presentations in global, regional and national conferences and meetings. Metin is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK and honorary member of The Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine in the U.S.A.
Dr Michalina Drejza, MD, MSc is a junior doctor and scientist from Poland. Currently working as a Specialty Trainee in East of England School of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She worked as a consultant at the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research focusing mostly on the work on self-care interventions, abortion and youth-related SRHR issues.Michalina has been involved in leadership roles within global youth spaces such as the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations, Adolescent and Youth Constituency of The Partnership of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, UNAIDS The PACT, International Youth Alliance for Family Planning and many more. She is currently completing PhD in Obstetrics and Gynaecology creating holistic adolescent sexual and reproductive health care model for Polish youth. Recently completed MSc in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her main research interest are youth SRHR issues and meaningful community and youth engagement in global health spaces.
Dr Paul D. Blumenthal, MD, MPH is Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Stanford University. He directs SPIRES, the Stanford Program for International Reproductive Education and Services, an initiative providing technical assistance and training to family planning programs in a wide variety of countries across Africa, Asia, and Central America. For over 35 years, Dr. Blumenthal has been an advisor to multiple international agencies such as Gynuity Health Projects, Ipas, Pathfinder, Family Health International, Path, Jhpiego, Population Services International, and the World Health Organization and served as the Special Advisor to Minister of Health and Family Planning of the Republic of Madagascar. Dr. Blumenthal is currently involved in studies of menstrual blood for diagnostic utility, Post Partum IUD insertion, “single visit” approaches to the prevention of cervical cancer and simplification of both medical abortion regimens and contraceptive delivery systems. He is an author of over 200 peer-reviewed publications involving collaborations from over 25 countries. Dr. Blumenthal is committed to the development and implementation of innovative approaches to reproductive health issues in both the domestic and international arenas.
Dr Arachu Castro, Ph.D., MPH, is Samuel Z. Stone Chair of Public Health in Latin America and Director of the Collaborative Group for Health Equity in Latin America at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, in New Orleans, United States. She is a medical anthropologist trained in public health. Before joining Tulane in 2013, she was Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Castro is the recipient of the 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship for her research on the management of HIV and syphilis during pregnancy in Latin America and the Caribbean. Currently, she researches the differential impact of obstetric violence on maternal and child health outcomes and the indirect effects of the management of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to health services for women, children, and adolescents. Dr Castro is former President of the Society for Medical Anthropology, member of WHO’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Group of Experts for Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health & Nutrition, and the Executive Committees of the Health Equity Network of the Americas and the Sustainable Health Equity Movement. She has published widely.