FIGO World Congress 2021 Blog – Day 7



Addressing disparities in maternal mortality

We kicked off this final day of the 2021 FIGO World Congress with a powerful keynote lecture from Dr. Nawal Nour on maternal mortality in the United States (including disparities) and around the world.

Dr Nour began his presentation with a global overview of maternal mortality before and during COVID, highlighting global disparities. She then focused her attention on the case of the United States, presenting data demonstrating the racial and ethnic inequalities that put women of color – and particularly black women – at risk of maternal mortality and morbidity. This conference highlighted different ways of addressing these inequalities, at systemic, institutional and individual levels.

Analyzing maternal mortality around the world during COVID-19

This was followed by a discussion hosted by the World Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology Trainees (WATOG) on “Maternal Mortality from COVID: An Opportunity for Analysis”. Chaired by Denise Armatas-Sproul, this session included case studies from three countries. First, Dr Carlos Zapata-Caballero brought up the case of Mexico, highlighting current and future strategies needed for the prevention of maternal mortality, especially in LMICs.

It was followed by Dr Fabiano Elisei, who spoke about Brazil’s experience with maternal mortality from COVID – stressing the vital importance of vaccination, continued prevention, diagnosis and early treatment in the COVID management. Dr Athulya Shajan ended the session with some background on India, presenting key data from the country while stressing that with a drop in hospitalizations, the available institutional data only paints a partial picture of the reality of the country.

Obesity in practice OBGYN

Later we heard a session on “Addressing the Challenges of Obesity in OBGYN Practice”, hosted by the Women’s Health and Policy Section of FIGO and chaired by Prof. Frank Louwen.

Dr Gianluca Gennarelli aimed to answer the question “Does obesity affect fertility?” ”, Emphasizing that although a high BMI carries risks for maternal and fetal health, it is not in itself an accurate predictor of the success of assisted reproduction technologies (ART). In his intervention, Dr Tahir Mahmood described the logic of screening for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), saying that screening for hyperglycemia is relevant for all pregnant women.

Professor Justin C Konje focused on “when and how to give birth to a severely obese woman,” highlighting the different risks to consider. He recommended that childbirth take place during weeks 38 to 40 of pregnancy, and that cesarean section and induced labor be acceptable routes to undertake, according to the woman.

LARC training

We then heard from an exciting panel of experts on the topic of “Training in Long-Acting Reversible Contraception Around the World,” organized by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and chaired by Professor Paul Blumenthal, United States. Dr Andrea Henkel began this session with a presentation on training the next generation of LARC providers, discussing lessons learned in the United States on how to reach students and trainees with LARC training.

Dr Lisa Goldthwaithe continued with a talk on ‘Postpartum IUD: Global Dissemination of Best Practices’, highlighting the safety and effectiveness of IUD insertion in the immediate postpartum period and sharing key lessons on training. . Dr Eve Espey discussed global work with LARCs and how to use the 4 Ps (product, location, price promotion) of social marketing to educate patients about contraception – and LARCs in particular.

Closing of the XXIIIth FIGO World Congress

The closing ceremony of the 2021 FIGO World Congress had Dr Kiarna Brown as master of ceremonies. Dr Carlos Fütchner, outgoing FIGO president, opened the ceremony by looking back on his three years of presidency, describing the main successes of this period, and thanked the committees, the administrators, the board and the staff of FIGO for their work during this period.

We were then joined by Dr Jeanne Conry, new FIGO President, who first recognized and thanked Dr Fütchner for his work with FIGO. She then presented the FIGO strategic plan 2021-2030, setting out its key objectives for her time at FIGO – with a focus on healthy women’s health, awareness of the impact of climate change and environmental exposure on reproductive health, and advocating for “every woman, every time, everywhere”.

FIGO Executive Director Professor Mary Ann Lumsden shared her enthusiasm for a successful FIGO Virtual World Congress 2021, urging attendees to make the most of the on-demand library of the platform to watch sessions until December 31, 2021. She then introduced Dr Joëlle Belaisch Allart, President of the National College of French Gynecologists and Obstetricians (CNGOF) to present the FIGO Hybrid World Congress 2023 to be held in Paris.

End the day (and the week!) In North America

The North America evening closed a successful and engaging FIGO 2021 World Congress. Organized jointly by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) and the Federación Mexicana de Colegios de Obstetricia y Ginecología (FEMECOG), this evening focused on three key topics: residency experiences, intern resilience in the COVID-19 pandemic and global work for women’s health.

It has been an amazing week full of sharing, learning and connecting. We are proud to have been able to host so many sessions and bring together so many member societies, obstetricians and gynecologists, midwives, nurses, NGOs, patients, advocates and other specialists and health professionals in the field of health and women’s policy.

If you missed it, it’s not too late to register – all content will be available on the virtual platform until December 31, 2021.


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