International Activities - World Health Organization

Collaborating Center in Reproductive Health

The Collaborating Center in Reproductive Health (formerly the Collaborating Center in Perinatal Care and Health Services Research in Maternal and Child Health) was created in 1981 as a joint effort of three Atlanta institutions. The Woodruff Health Science Center of Emory University,  the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Georgia Department of Human Resources. Specialized clinical, epidemiological, educational program policy and program management talents of the participating institutions focus on improving the outcomes of pregnancy in the State of Georgia.


The World Health Organization in the early fifties began to designate institutions around the world to serve as global resource centers to assist countries in dealing with a variety of global health issues. In 1982, WHO designated Atlanta as one of its resource centers in perinatal care and infant health. Other collaborating centers of this kind are located in Uruguay, Italy, and China.


In 2001, WHO asked the Collaborating Center to expand its activities in perinatal care and infant health to include the health of reproductive age women and contraceptive technologies important in child spacing. In keeping with this broad mandate, this collaborating center became one of WHO's global resource centers, and its name was changed to the WHO Collaborating Center in Reproductive Health (WHO/CC/RH).


Dedicated to improving the health of women and children around the world, WHO/CC can assist an individual country in the following:


Identifying its problems and properties in reproductive health, perinatal care and infant health through development of a data surveillance system.


Assessing the performance and the potential for financial and political sustainability of the country's health care delivery system for Women and children


 Designing and  assisting in implementing effective, safe, and sustainable technologies to enhance health and reduce or eliminate identified problems.

Monitoring the effectiveness of such improvement programs.

Providing training for clinical practice. epidemiology. program policy development, public program management, and financial sustainability.

By enabling health professionals to assess, develop, implement, and evaluate women's reproductive, perinatal, and infant care services, the Collaborating Center has assisted in improving the health care delivery system for women and children. Consultation has been provided in numerous countries including China, Greece, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza, Romania, Poland, Jamaica, Grenada, and Uganda. Over the course of the past five years, WHO/CC/RH has been focused on projects in the State of Georgia (U.S ), the Middle East, Tanzania, the Republic of Georgia, Columbia, and Cuba. Domestic consultations are being provided to the Departments of Health in Texas and Mississippi.

The vision of the WHO/CC is to improve every couple's chance of having a wanted pregnancy and, following childbirth, that the mother is alive and healthy and their child is wanted, loved, healthy, and safe. The mission of WHO/CC is to serve the people who serve the people. This is done through creating a foundation of knowledge and skills that enables care‑providers and decision makers to sustain efforts long after WHO/CC/RH has left.

Three goals have guided the recent activities of WHO/CC/RH.

First, it focuses an building human capacity in ministries of health, departments of health. and universities of WHO member countries to evaluate and solve their own problems in reproductive health, perinatal care and infant health through country specific projects. Capacity building has taken the form of technical assistance, educational programs for training, and stimulation of health services research.

Second, it continues to expand its depth as a center of excellence in health services research. To this end, experts and faculty have been recruited to become participating Fellows of the WHO/CC/RH. Collaborative networks are being built with professionals and governments around the world.

Third, it is working to create a stable financial base for it's core activities through endowments.The Atlanta-based collaborating center works closely with WHO/Geneva in the Family Planning and Making Pregnancy Safe project, the International Collaborative Effort on Perinatal and Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). A special working partnership has been built with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) through activities with the Center for Latin American Perinatology (CLAP) in Uruguay.