International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics

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Meeting: 
144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
6.4 Promoting the health of refugees and migrants
Statement: 

FIGO is excited to see that promoting the health of refugees and migrants has reached the forefront of WHO planning.
Migrants and refugees are people like us who, under drastic natural or human-made disasters, have suffered grave losses. Livelihoods are interrupted - and more so their health care.
The needs of women are huge. In FIGO’s experience, health often takes a lower priority after food and protection. Medications run out, emergency visits are unavailable, and attending to pregnancy and childcare simply does not happen. Most health indicators suffer, diseases worsen, and needs escalate.
FIGO calls on the WHO to increase focus on the following areas:
• Maternal health; antenatal care and hospital-based deliveries must be overseen by a skilled-birth attendant for all pregnant refugees and migrants.
• The detrimental consequences of child-brides and adolescent pregnancy often faced by refugee families. Protecting female children from sexual exploitation.
• Fertility rates rise under conflicts and continue to grow due to gaps and unmet need for modern contraception, as well as cultural restriction on its use.
• Reproductive morbidity, cancer screening and midlife needs, must be provided in primary health care for refugees at a wider scale.
• Violence and mental health are not receiving the attention needed with reports showing that women refugees feel concerned about harassment, abuse, rape, and do not feel safe in their spaces.
FIGO’s vision is a world where all women achieve the highest possible standards of health. This must hold true wherever women live - and wherever they are forced to go.
With 132 member societies, FIGO is in a unique position to collaborate with the WHO to promote quality of care and to advocate mainstreaming refugee and migrant health in global, regional and country agendas. We are available to work with you to enhance the capacity to tackle the social determinants of health and accelerate progress towards achieving the SDGs.