Dr.Justine Coulson, Acting Regional Director for UNFPA East and Southern Africa, leads UNFPA’s regional programme which addresses universal access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), youth empowerment and wellbeing, GBV and harmful practices, and data and innovation. She has over 25 years’ experience in the international development sector and for the last 15 years has specialised in the field of SRHR, working in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Prior to joining UNFPA, she was the Regional Director for South Asia for Marie Stopes International (MSI). She also held country leadership positions with MSI in Nepal, Tanzania and Uganda, and worked as an adviser in the Poverty Research and Policy Centre at Save the Children UK. Justine holds a PhD from the University of Newcastle, UK and began her professional life as the Gender and Social Development Advisor at the Global Urban Research Unit at the university, where she conducted international research on a wide range of topics related to urban development.
Quote from Dr. Justine,
“ Measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 pandemic are producing a few unintended consequences including disruption in delivery of essential health services. If financing and delivery of essential sexual and reproductive health services are not ensured during this pandemic, then maternal mortality is likely to increase by around 8%. Such an increase could mean a reversal of nearly 3 years’ worth of efforts to improve maternal health in the East and Southern Africa region.”