Frederick Torgbor Sai

Dr Fred Sai, a Ghanaian family health physician, trained in the Universities of London, Edinburgh and Harvard, is an internationally recognized gender and reproductive health advocate. He is also well known for drawing attention to the food and nutrition problems of Africa, particularly of women and children.

He has held important positions both in Ghana and internationally including, as Director of Medical Services and Professor of Community Health in Ghana; as nutrition adviser to the FAO, Africa Region, as coordinator for the World Hunger Programme of the UN University and as Senior Population Advisor to the Word Bank. In the last position he was instrumental in getting the Bank to increase its commitment to population and family planning activities and to work more closely with NGOs...

Dr Sai was president of IPPF from 1989 to 1995; was recipient of the UN Population Award in 1993, and has received many awards and honours for his work in population, reproductive health and nutrition. These include honorary doctorates from Tufts University in the USA, and the University of Ghana, Legon. He has also been accorded the Honorary Fellowship of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, UK, for his promotion of women’s health and rights

Dr Sai is world renowned for his chairing of various international conferences including the WHO/UNICEF Infant and young Child Feeding Conference in 1979 which led to the development of the International Code on Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes; moderator for the 1987 Safe Motherhood Conference which launched the Safe Motherhood Initiative, and chairman for the Main Committees of the International Conference on Population in Mexico in 1984.and of the International Conference on Population and Development, ICPD, in Cairo in 1994. It was this last conference which produced the Programme of Action, emphasising the centrality of women to all development programmes and called for world attention to the improvement in the status of women and for equity and equality between the sexes as the basis of all human relationships

Dr. Sai is supposed to be retired now but he is as involved as ever, nationally, as advisor to the Government of Ghana on Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS issues; and internationally in the promotion of the ICPD Agenda. He is an external director of the Bank of Ghana (the central bank) and a member of the board of directors of several US NGOs working in Sexual and Reproductive Health.

He has published quite extensively on an array of health issues; latterly dwelling on the ethical issues in the Sexual and Reproductive Health field. His most recent books are:

“Adam and Eve and the Serpent”, dealing with the inequalities and the difficulties faced by African Women; and “Fred Sai Speaks Out” which is a collection of essays on his views of the reproductive health field. This includes a letter to the late Pope asking for a reconsideration of the Vatican’s anti-contraception and family planning stand.

Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, June 2006