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Aníbal Faúndes, MD, PhD

Recipient, 2011 Allan Rosenfield Award for
Lifetime Contributions to International Family Planning

Aníbal Faúndes, MD, PhDDr. Aníbal Faúndes was born and became a physician in Chile. He graduated in 1955 from the University of Chile and became a Full Professor in Obstetrics at the same university in 1970. In 1973, he had to leave Chile after the September 11 military coup and became advisor of the Mother and Child Health and Family Planning program in the Dominican Republic. In 1976, Dr. Faúndes moved to Brazil, where he resumed his teaching career at the School of Medical Sciences of the State University of Campinas, in São Paulo state. There he became full Professor in Obstetrics in 1976. At the same time, he was the Population Council representative in Brazil until retirement from that position in 1995.

Dr. Faúndes has participated in numerous international commissions, committees and boards, including those of the Organization of American States (OAS) and World Health Organization, as well as a number of international NGOs, particularly the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (FIGO) and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

Dr. Faúndes’ contributions include improving access to contraception through research, training and action programs both within individual countries and internationally.

In his native country of Chile, Dr. Faúndes began by initiating the provision of contraception at an outpatient clinic and a hospital before moving on to be the head of the program in a region of Santiago. From 1970 through 1972, he was responsible for the Chilean Women's Health Program. In the Dominican Republic, he worked as advisor to the family planning program, where he contributed to increasing the number of contraceptive delivery points in that country by three-fold in just over two years. In 1980 through 1984, he collaborated with the organization of the family planning program of the recently independent Republic of Mozambique, where he helped to create a school for MCH nurses, who played the role of trained midwives and contributed greatly to increased access to contraception in that country. Since moving to Brazil, Dr. Faúndes has been an advisor in family planning and women's health to successive governments there. He was key to the preparation of the Women's Comprehensive Care Program (PAISM in Portuguese), which included access to contraception within the context of women's reproductive rights.

Between 1965 and 1970, Dr. Faúndes conceptualized, organized and coordinated a four-week theoretical and practical course on family planning for Latin American physicians. The course was limited to ten physicians per course but was repeated five times a year for over six years. Since then, the vast majority of family planning medical leaders in Latin America have received their training through this course.

Dr. Faúndes’ pioneering research from 1967 through 1970 at the Poblacion San Gregorio in Santiago has been published internationally and has helped to show the role of family planning in reducing abortion rates. As a member of the International Committee of Contraceptive Research (ICCR) of the Population Council, since its inception in 1971 until 1987, he also contributed to the development of new contraceptive methods. His research has been published in over 430 articles in scientific journals and in several books, including Woman and her Right to Health, with JA Pinotti; Maternal Death, an Avoidable Tragedy, with JG Cecatti; and The Human Drama of Abortion, in Search of a Global Consensus, with Jose Barzelatto.

Dr. Faúndes is currently the chair of the Working Group on Prevention of Unsafe Abortion of FIGO. His late wife, Ellen Hardy, a social science researcher and feminist, was the inspiration and driving force behind the majority of his work.

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