International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and global partners launch key actions to help achieve new Sustainable Development Goals targeting global women's and children's health

VANCOUVER, Oct. 5, 2015 /CNW/ - The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) - representing 125 national societies of obstetricians and gynecologists worldwide - and its global stakeholders and partners announced today at the XXI World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics  President's Session key actions to achieve the recently adopted UN Sustainable Development goals 3 and 5 targeting global women's and children's health and gender equality.

Last week in New York City, more than 150 world leaders unanimously adopted the United Nations Sustainable Development agenda aimed at ending poverty and promoting prosperity by 2030. 

"FIGO's vision and mission perfectly encapsulate goals 3 and 5," says Professor Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, FIGO President. "Helping to realize this global development agenda is our public health responsibility. We must help to enhance and enable our national society members', stakeholders' and partners' capabilities to achieve these goals and ultimately aid all globally."

The reduction of maternal mortality can be attributed to three areas: good contraceptive coverage (a possible reduction of 30 per cent), achieving safe abortion care (15 per cent) and emergency obstetric and medical care (55 per cent). FIGO is working steadily in all three areas.

Key actions include:

  • The launch of a new global data-driven advocacy campaign in partnership with the International Confederation of Midwives, the International Council of Nurses and the International Pediatric Association to address the six major causes of death among women giving birth, newborns and children under five years of age. The data is supporting the development of key "interventions packages" to provide guidance to potential global health funding agencies on the critical components required to address the six major causes of death. See video for data summary.

  • A global educational partnership with the Global Library of Women's Medicine (GLOWMwww.glowm.com) to help provide access to the latest educational information in this sector. It is free to use, with hundreds of chapters on topics in obstetrics and gynecology, master classes, films, videos, books and dedicated sections for WHO publications, sexual and reproductive rights, safe abortion care, contraception and many other areas.

  • New FIGO Gestational Diabetes Guidelines and Global Maternal Nutrition Guidelines in Pregnancy and Infancy.

  • A Post-Partum IUD (PPIUD) Initiative to ensure access to effective contraception to reduce maternal mortality and severe morbidity. It is being implemented in six countries worldwide.

  • An Expert group on environmental toxins on pregnancy outcomes, working closely with the American, UK and Canadian universities and colleges.

  • New FIGO cardio-tocography (CTG) Guidelines – in partnership with 46 representatives from different countries—to help to train doctors and midwives and to reduce intrapartum-related stillbirths.

  • The FIGO Prevention of Unsafe Abortion Initiative – national teams working on safe abortion care, enhancing primary prevention by increasing available contraception, secondary prevention by providing safe abortion services and tertiary prevention by providing post-abortion contraception. Realising the importance of safe abortion care to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently issued important guidelines*.

Participants from the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the International Pediatric Association (IPA), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) and the donor community participated in today's highly attended President's Session to discuss actions currently underway.

"The ICM and FIGO have enjoyed a decades-long relationship focused on improving the health and well-being of childbearing women and their babies," says Ms Frances Day-Stirk, President of ICM. "The newly launched SDGs present a perfect opportunity for building and extending this partnership as we work together to achieve the SDGs for the benefit of women's, newborns', children's and adolescents' health."

"The IPA is proud to work in close partnership with FIGO and ICM. The ten focus areas for IPA action, advocacy and education range from the survival of newly born babies to supporting a healthy adolescence," says Dr. William Keenan, Executive Director of the IPA. "Our emphasis is ensuring that children and adolescents not only survive but thrive today and tomorrow."

Professor Marleen Temmerman, Director, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, WHO, also adds that discrimination, gender inequality, lack of political will, societal norms and structural failures mean that women and girls often miss out on life-saving health services and experience serious violations of their human rights. 

"We know what works and what we can do to make a difference. While there is no magic bullet, there are also no excuses. WHO is committed to working with FIGO and partners to stand behind the new Global Goals for sustainable development and the Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health," says Professor Marleen Temmerman.

The latest information on FIGO projects, publications, guidelines and supplements can be found on www.figo.org and www.ijgo.org  

*See WHO Guidelines: 'Health worker roles in providing safe abortion care and post-abortion contraception'
http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/unsafe_abortion/abortion-task-shifting/en/

The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) is a non-profit organization that brings together obstetrical and gynecological associations from 125 countries/territories worldwide. It is dedicated to the improvement of women's health and rights and to the reduction of disparities in healthcare available to women and newborns, as well as to advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynecology. Based in London, the organization hosts a triennial World Congress that draws more than 7,000 women's health scientists, clinicians, and other allied health professionals to present the latest science and best clinical practice in obstetrics and gynecology.

SOURCE International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)

Image with caption: "International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) (CNW Group/International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151005_C7741_PHOTO_EN_513906.jpg

For further information: For media assistance please contact: Janet Weichel McKenzie, 613-808-4642, The Hillbrooke Group, jweichelmckenzie@hillbrooke.ca; Lisa Robertson, 613-858-4584, The Hillbrooke Group, lrobertson@hillbrooke.ca; Sarah MacFadyen, 613-407-5195, The Hillbrooke Group, smacfadyen@hillbrooke.ca

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