Media Statement: ICPD25 maternal health and rights

Nairobi, 31 October 2019

For 65 years, FIGO has collaborated with the world's top health bodies to work towards the improvement of women's health and rights globally.

At the Nairobi Summit, we share our commitment to intensifying efforts for the full, effective and accelerated implementation and funding of the ICPD Programme of Action, Key Actions for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action of the ICPD and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

FIGO will support achievement of universal access to sexual and reproductive health as a part of universal health coverage (UHC) by striving for: 

Zero preventable maternal deaths, and maternal morbidities, such as obstetric fistulas, by, inter alia, integrating a comprehensive approach of the essential sexual and reproductive health package, including measures for preventing and avoiding unsafe abortions, and post-abortion care, into national UHC strategies, policies and programmes, and to protect and ensure all individuals’ right to bodily integrity and autonomy, and to provide access to essential services in support of this right.

Despite great progression over the past twenty-five years, there is still a huge unfinished agenda in women's health where FIGO is able to continue to strengthen, improve, monitor and audit global efforts to ensure that no-one is left behind. 

FIGO commits to work with our 132 National Member Societies to:

  • address maternal mortality and morbidity, including complications caused by postpartum haemorrhage, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, and unsafe abortion which are the leading cause of death for adolescent girls in low-income countries, where 99 percent of maternal deaths occur
  • close the global obstetric fistula treatment gap. Training more fistula surgeons and multidisciplinary teams to provide life-transforming care – recently achieving 10,000 fistula repair surgeries
  • work through six FIGO National Member Societies to institutionalise the provision of postpartum family planning services into routine maternity care, training community midwives, health workers, doctors and delivery unit staff in the effort to institutionalise the practice in the antenatal period
  • raise the capacity of ten FIGO National Member Societies to enable them lead their own national level advocacy on safe abortion to the extent permitted by law in their respective countries
  • strengthen the profession of obstetrics and gynecology, and by immediate extension, the quality of care available to women and girls on a global scale
  • advocate at the global level for universal health coverage

The hopes, dreams and expectations of the 1994 ICPD in Cairo have not yet been fully achieved. Universal access to SRHR is one of the corner-stones of population and development programmes, and there remains a large, unfinished agenda.

FIGO has worked tirelessly for 65 years to mobilise health professionals to deal effectively with the current and future challenges to health and to take joint actions to build stronger and sustainable quality health care towards achieving universal health coverage.


Jennifer Crago
Director Communications and Advocacy