International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Printer-friendly version
144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
5.8.2 Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases

The commitment of WHO to follow up on the 2018 Political Declaration on NCDs through supporting governments to accelerate progress towards SDG 3.4 is to be applauded.

FIGO welcomes WHO’s flagship programmes focusing on air pollution and cervical cancer elimination, but assert that improvement in lifestyle factors is no substitution for a healthy start in life.

We are disappointed to see that, while your report mentions a ‘whole-of-society approach’, it fails to integrate maternal and child health with NCD prevention, which had been included in the WHO’s 2011 Declaration. A missed opportunity with long-term implications.

Pregnancy offers a unique opportunity to integrate maternal and child health with health promotion and NCD prevention. Prenatal malnutrition and low birth weight create a predisposition to obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes later in life. Pregnancy conditions, such as maternal obesity and gestational diabetes, are associated with risks in both the mother and her offspring. Efforts on NCD prevention and control must therefore begin with and focus on preconception and maternal health.

FIGO proposes that integration of maternal and child health with NCD prevention is central to “bold and practical recommendations on how to transform new opportunities to enable countries to accelerate progress towards SDG 3.4” as sought by the High-level Commission on NCDs, and as evidenced in FIGO’s Global Declaration on Hyperglycaemia in Pregnancy.

As it stands, no single country will meet their reduction target in mortality from NCDs by 2030. We must build a sustainable future for generations who are not yet born, but are already at risk.

FIGO, and our 132 member societies, support efforts to build multi-stakeholder collaborations and the collation and dissemination of current evidence. We are available to support the Scaling up multi-stakeholder and multi-sectorial responses for the prevention and control of NCDs.