Statement on Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030)

For over 60 years, FIGO has collaborated with the world's top health bodies to work towards the improvement of women's health globally.

FIGO is in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO), and attending the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, 20th - 28th May, 2019.

Read our statement on the Director-General's report on the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030).

As a Member of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) Board, member of the Quality of Care Network established in 2017 by WHO and UNICEF for improving the quality of maternal, newborn and child health services, and a commitment-maker to Every Woman Every Child, FIGO welcomes the Director-General’s report on the Global Strategy.

The single report is a clarifying opportunity to assess successes, challenges and activities in the areas of women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. It is clear that while there are reasons to celebrate, we cannot rest while women around the world continue to die from preventable conditions, including 303,000 maternal deaths annually.

We welcome action and commitments on three critical areas addressed in the report:

  • improvements in the quality of care, especially access to high-quality antenatal care services and skilled health professionals during pregnancy and postnatal
  • achieving Universal Health Coverage
  • strengthening the collection and analysis of data at country level, which must be gender-disaggregated wherever possible.

We are, however, troubled by findings from the WHO-coordinated Alliance for Maternal and Newborn Health Improvement mortality study, which shows that a larger proportion of deaths in low-resource settings occurred during labour, delivery and the subsequent 24 hours, than had been previously estimated. 

It is encouraging to see recognition that lack of access to contraception for women in low-resource settings hinders their ability to thrive and transform, but FIGO goes further in noting that it is in fact life-threatening. Access to modern contraception is a critical strategy for reducing maternal mortality and morbidity, one component of a broader package of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

FIGO affirms the Director-General’s insistence that universal health coverage is crucial for accelerating progress in women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. However we are disappointed to see no mention of the importance of women’s role in the design and delivery of UHC. Women have specific health needs that must be addressed, and universal access to SRHR is fundamental.

Uniting OBYGNs in a vision of health and wellbeing aligned to the Global Strategy, FIGO, with our 132 National Member Societies, commits to working with WHO and within the Every Woman Every Child architecture to deliver on targets. Slow progress across multiple Sustainable Development Goals continues to adversely affect the health of women, children and adolescents, and only through partnership can we ensure all women, children and adolescents not only survive, but thrive.


About FIGO

FIGO is a professional organisation that brings together obstetrical and gynecological associations from all over the world.

FIGO’s vision is that women of the world achieve the highest possible standards of physical, mental, reproductive and sexual health and wellbeing throughout their lives, we lead on global programme activities, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia.

FIGO advocates on a global stage, especially in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pertaining to reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and non-communicable diseases (SDG3). We also work to raise the status of women and enable their active participation to achieve their reproductive and sexual rights, including addressing FGM and gender based violence (SDG5).

We also provide education and training for our Member Societies and build capacities of those from low-resource countries through strengthening leadership, good practice and promotion of policy dialogues.

FIGO are in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) and a consultative status with the United Nations (UN).