Statement on Third High Level Meeting on NCDs

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 146th WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva.

This week we shared our statement on the Director General’s Follow-up to the high-level meetings of the United Nations General Assembly on health-related issues Political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.

FIGO (International Federation Gynecology and Obstetrics) is pleased to note the Follow-up to the Political Declaration of the Third High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which will be included on the agenda of the 73rd World Health Assembly.

As it stands, no single country is on track to meet the SDG3.4 target to cut premature mortality from NCDs. We are pleased to see WHO highlight the importance of early diagnosis and screening and early detection of NCDs.

Air Pollution is posing a growing threat to health all over the world. Integrating strategies to mitigate it into wider NCD prevention and healthcare delivery strategies is fundamental. There is a strong link between air pollution and fertility. Once pregnant, women and their fetuses are particularly susceptible with outcomes including preterm birth, low birth weight and congenital anomalies.

Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), chemicals that mimic, block, or interfere with hormones, and their effects on reproductive and developmental health, are gaining increasing recognition. We are disappointed that your statement does not include reference to the impact that these also have on maternal health factors.  

Maternal and child health is inextricably linked with NCDs and their risk factors. Prenatal malnutrition and low birth weight will affect both mother and child creating a predisposition to obesity, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes later in life. Also pre-term birth is associated with similar risks. Therefore, any efforts on NCD prevention and control must begin with and substantially focus on preconception and maternal health.

FIGO members are embedded on the frontlines of health and wellbeing for women in 132 countries. Our global reach can help to facilitate the delivery of national projects around environmental health, NCDs and the elimination of cervical cancer.

We resolve to convert these challenges into opportunities for improved outcomes for mothers and their newborns, to stem the rising curve of NCDs and improve future population health. We remain available to support WHO’s implementation of a Global Action Plan for the prevention and control of NCDs.