International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics

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144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
5.6 Health, environment and climate change

FIGO applaud the WHO for recognising that minimising environmental threats to human health and reproduction is a necessity if we are to substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination, and the consequences of climate change, in order to progress towards the 2030 Agenda.

In the last 40 years, there has been a global increase in human exposure to a variety of potentially toxic chemicals in the environment. Whether we are concerned with reproductive health, cancer, infertility, neonatal and childhood health – all priority areas for FIGO – we know that toxic exposures are implicated.

The human reproductive system is particularly sensitive to exposures because of crucial window of ‘development’. Preconception and prenatal time periods are important. We are disappointed to not see any reference to the link environmental exposures have on prematurity and low birth weight, or any reference to risks of exposure affecting transgenerational changes.

At FIGO we focus on 3 important areas: Education, Research and Advocacy.
• Education: to reach clinicians, publications and to develop training programs that incorporate environmental awareness.
• Research: compiling information regarding research and products.
• Advocacy: to advocate for learning, to share the information in our hospitals, communities and with our ministers of health. And to demonstrate that the burden of proof of harm gives way to a proof of safety.

FIGO’s diverse membership, made up of 132 member societies, allows us a global reach.

FIGO hopes that we can use our experience and expertise, and unified commitment to addressing the associated risks of health, environment and climate change, and collaborate with the WHO to help deliver the three strategic priorities outlined in your Thirteenth General Programme of Work, 2019 – 2023, notably supporting leadership and policies and evidence synthesis and advocacy.