Professor Joseph Gatheru Karanja


Professor Joseph Karanja graduated in medicine and surgery from the University of Nairobi in 1976 and did his obs/gyn residency at the same University and the Kenyatta National Hospital between 1978 and 1982. He started his academic career as a lecturer at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Medicine, University of Nairobi in 1985. He was Chairman of the Department from 1994 to 2000 and president of Kenya Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society (KOGS) from 2001 to 2005 and now sits in its Council as a Member. He was appointed and Associate Professor of Obs/Gyn in April 2004 and elected the President of the Eastern, Central and Southern Africa Association of Obstetrical and Gynaecological Societies (ECSAOGS) in February 2009.

He is an expert in clinical training and curriculum and training materials development. He teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate students and supervises their dissertations and theses. Professor Karanja has been involved in many research projects and, with others, has published widely. He has attended and presented papers in numerous national, regional and international conferences.

He is one of the founding members of the Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance (RHRA). He has more than 30 years of experience in the Reproductive Health and Rights  arena during which he has collaborated  with organizations such as Ipas, Family Health International (FHI), Population Council , Engenderhealth, JHPIEGO, WHO,  IPPF, PPFA  and FIGO among others.

He was a member of WHO Technical Working Group that developed the WHO FGM Guidance of 1997. He was co-principal investigator for Kenya for international multicenter study on obstetrical sequelae of FGM whose results are published in Lancet 2006

He has often been at the forefront of advocating for the promotion women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in Kenya. He has also actively participated in the Kenya constitutional review process which ensured that article 26(4) protected women’s health and lives. He also contributed to the advocacy leading Prohibition of FGM Act in Kenya.