ROME, October 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
"Despite recent progress, the targets set by the United Nations to reduce between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate and the maternal mortality ratio - known as Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 - are far from being achieved," said Professor Hamid Rushwan, Chief Executive of International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), presenting the LOGIC (Leadership in Obstetrics and Gynecology for Impact and Change) Initiative at the FIGO2012 World Congress in Rome, Italy.
The LOGIC Initiative (http://www.figo.org/projects/LOGIC_initiative), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a programme created by FIGO to improve maternal and newborn health policy and clinical practice in eight countries in Africa and South Asia (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, India, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, and Uganda) through the capacity improvement of national professional organisations of gynecology and obstetrics.
"The majority of maternal deaths are preventable, yet many thousands of women are dying daily as a result of complications in pregnancy and childbirth. The survival chances and health of a newborn baby are closely linked to the well-being of its mother. Quality newborn care starts during pregnancy, and safe delivery and high quality postnatal care are essentials for a newborn baby's chance of survival," explained Professor David Taylor, LOGIC Project Director.
The LOGIC Initiative was launched in 2009. "Since the beginning, we have provided support to the organisations involved to improve their capacity through dedicated training on every aspect of their work, including governance, human resources, finance, advocacy and policy change. We have enhanced their profiles and performance," he added.
The completion of the project is set for October 2013, but some important results are already tangible. For instance, the Association of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Uganda (AOGU) and the Societé de Gynécologues et Obstétriciens du Burkina Faso (SOGOB) have been approached by their respective Ministries of Health to lead national programmes of maternal death reviews. Furthermore, with the collaboration and support of partners such as Save the Children, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the White Ribbon Alliance, AOGU helped to influence the Ugandan government to increase funding for reproductive health by 30%.
"One of the objectives of LOGIC is to promote collaboration between the participating organisations to facilitate exchange of knowledge and best practice. We expect further positive achievements to extend the impact of the initiative beyond the current borders," Professor Taylor ended.