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International Cooperation

The Academic Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Policy (ANSER) unites 37 organisations focusing on conducting joint research and building evidence-based policymaking in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights. The network has been active for five years, and Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) has been a member since 2017.

This year, the ANSER General Assembly was held online, like so many other conferences and congresses. Ghent University (Belgium), which provided funding for ANSER's activities in the first five years, is carefully examining the work that has been accomplished so far. ANSER organised a scientific seminar on sexual and reproductive health during RSU Research Week 2019. The scientific seminar was attended by visiting lecturers from Sweden, Belgium and South Africa. The visitors remember the hospitality of RSU and the interest shown by the participants and students. ANSER members have submitted abstracts and are going to participate in RSU Research Week 2021.

An International Sexual Health And REproductive Health (I-SHARE) survey that is still being conducted in 30 countries examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sexual and reproductive health. International publications are scheduled to be submitted in February next year. However, many countries, Latvia included, have already started to analyse the situation and evaluate the recommendations in order to maintain and promote sexual and reproductive health during the crisis. ANSER offers joint doctoral dissertations and master’s theses, summer schools, research, involvement of students and mobility for visiting lecturers. The members of the network value the opportunity to come into contact with like-minded people, share experience and learn from others. 

ANSER is considering an opportunity to ask RSU to organise the ANSER General Assembly in the autumn of 2022. The study on sexual and reproductive heal will have been concluded by then, and evidence-based state policy in the field of sexual and reproductive health will have to be developed. ANSER focuses on conducting research on sexual and reproductive health and policymaking, and Latvia’s example is of interest to many in Europe as well as worldwide. At the close of the assembly, the participants expressed their hopes that COVID-19 will not be an obstacle to scientists’ cooperation and further development of sexual and reproductive health.  
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