Committee on Health Systems Strengthening and Respectful Care

The mandate of the Committee on Health Systems Strengthening and Respectful Care is to examine health systems strengthening and respectful care at childbirth, identify areas of concern and propose interventions for implementation by FIGO and its member societies. The committee focuses on the health care workforce and on service delivery, emphasises the importance of universal health coverage (UHC) and respectful maternity care, and aims to continue the work of the International Childbirth Initiative.

The burden of maternal mortality, morbidity and perinatal deaths remains high in the majority of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), despite the work set out by the Sustainable Development Goals. High on the global agenda are countries' commitments to work towards the provision of UHC as a minimum to ensure equitable access to health care. This applies to maternal and newborn health care – from pregnancy and childbirth to the postpartum period.

Committee Members


Dr Pius Okong, Uganda


Dr André Lalonde, Canada – Past Chair

Dr Edgar Ivan Ortiz Lizcano, Colombia – Ex Officio

Dr Lynn Murphy-Kaulbeck, Canada

Professor Stefan Gebhardt, South Africa

Dr Claudia Hanson, Sweden

Ms Nandita Palshetkar, India

Dr Margit Steinholt, Norway

Dr Harris Suharjono, Malaysia

Dr Evelyn Sican, Guatemala

Dr Jezid Miranda, Colombia

Dr Kerima Torres, Honduras – WATOG

Dr Marijo Cukelj, Croatia – WATOG

Associate Members

Dr Suellen Miller, USA

Ms Debra Pascali-Bonaro, USA

Dr Jean-Paul Dossou, Benin

Get in touch with the committee
If you'd like to get in touch with our Committee on Health Systems Strengthening and Respectful Care, please use the contact us link above.