Professor Mahmoud Fathalla – President of FIGO from 1994 to 1997 and Vice President from 1985 to 1988 – has been awarded this year’s United Nations Population Award. The Award is given to individuals and institutions for outstanding work in population and in improving the health of individuals.
Professor Fathalla was selected along with a Nicaraguan non-governmental organization called Movimiento Comunal Nicaragüense (MCN) from 18 international nominees. His award will be presented on 1st June 2009 at the United Nations in New York. Each winner will receive a diploma and a gold medal.
In addition to his Presidency of FIGO, Professor Fathalla is a renowned doctor and professor of obstetrics/gynaecology. He also works as a manager, adviser and advocate on family planning, reproductive health and safe motherhood for many organisations including FIGO itself.
In 1974, Professor Fathalla founded the Egyptian Fertility Care Society, one of the first family planning organisations in the Arab world, and has advised the Egyptian Family Planning Association, Ministry of Health and the National Population Council.
A maternal health advocate, he was one of the founders of the Safe Motherhood Initiative. He holds honorary doctorates from universities around the world including Uppsala University in Sweden, Helsinki University in Finland and Toronto University in Canada. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a Fellow ad eundum of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the United Kingdom, and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and former Dean of the Medical School at Assiut University in Egypt where he is based and where he began his career. He has written more than one hundred and fifty scientific publications and edited many more including the highly-regarded “FIGO Teaching Manual in Human Reproduction” and the seminal book "From Obstetrics and Gynecology to Women's Health- The Road Ahead". Professor Fathalla was honoured with the FIGO Outstanding Contribution Award – an award made to very few individuals who have made a truly outstanding contribution to women’s health worldwide. FIGO would like to congratulate Professor Fathalla on the signal and richly deserved honour being afforded to him by the United Nations.