FIGO Fellowship in Brazil

The FIGO International Fellowship Programme was created to promote women’s health in low-resource countries. In 2018, participants were invited to Brazil to undertake a week-long training programme and gain insight into clinical management in various settings before attending FIGO’s XXII World Congress.

Noémia Mapasse is currently specialising as an OBGYN in Mozambique, where the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is 489 per 100,000 live births (2015), one of the highest rates in the world. She carried out her trainee fellowship in Brazil at CAISM (UNICAMP) – Campinas.

“I was able to see many similarities between issues raised at my training in Brazil and those that exist at home in Mozambique.  Learning about the FIGO guidelines has made it easier for me to frame the problem and pinpoint exactly where the issue is so I can find a solution.”

Indeed, Mozambique and Brazil share several maternal health challenges. Notably, postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) - the principal cause of maternal mortality in low-income countries and nearly one quarter of all maternal deaths globally - is also one of the leading contributors to Mozambique’s high MMR.

Noémia identified learning about preventing and correctly managing PPH as one of her top learnings from her trainee fellowship. A critical care simulation lab was held during Congress, with video, case presentations and practice stations for control of PPH to ensure delegates were prepared to manage PPH. Additionally, the FIGO Postpartum Haemorrhage Initiative published guidelines on prevention and treatment of PPH with misoprostol.

Access to safe abortion was another issue Noémia was able to learn more about during her time in Brazil. Despite liberalised abortion laws being introduced in 2014 in Mozambique, implementation of the law lags behind and unsafe abortion and its consequences are a primary concern for maternal health in the country. In taking part in the trainee fellowship, Noémia gained a better understanding of the necessity of making women fully aware of abortion law in order that they can make an informed choice.

Noémia’s most vital takeaway from her time in Brazil as part of the FIGO Fellowship Programme was grounded in the importance of unbiased and all-encompassing women’s health. “Every woman, no matter their age or background, deserves equal healthcare.” 

FIGO would also like to extend their sincere thanks to our member societies for sponsoring this programme, as well as the facilities that accommodate the trainees.