Background: Health care, prevention and promotion activities, ought to be led by high quality evidence of effectiveness, feasibility and efficiency among others. The evidences should also be presented in a palatable way, so they could be translated into practice.
One of the common approaches to enhancing evidence generation and use are scientific conferences. Various professional Associations and Federations at different levels, have played pivotal role in setting the standards of practice for the areas of specialty that they are established for. The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) was established to address all aspects of women’s health in the globe.
As continuation of the agreed upon trend, and based on the decision made at the 21st congress held in Vancouver in October 2015, the 22nd congress was held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil from October 14 – 19, 2018. The Rio conference, which was attended by 10,863 participants from 148 countries, has been registered as the biggest in the history of the FIGO congresses.
Although, it is difficult to imagine a conference which might have not been attended by any Ethiopian, it has been evident that only few Ethiopian Obstetricians and Gynecologists, midwives, researchers and others were in attendance on the previous congresses. Moreover, the number of papers selected for oral and poster presentation in the previous sessions were also very limited. But trends of participation in the congress was showing improvements over time. The 22nd edition has witnessed a remarkable improvement and multiple new developments.
Is this a shift in role – from passive participation to assuming active roles?
In this congress, more than 30 Obstetrician Gynecologists (0.27% of the total participant population), midwives, nurses and other researchers from Ethiopia were in attendance; most of whom had at least one oral presentation, others had poster presentations. There was a total of 16 sessions where presentations from Ethiopia were held. Moreover, some of the Ethiopian professionals had significant role by serving as panelists and moderators.
The following summarizes my observations from the congress. Please note that this is NOT in any way an exhaustive summary. It is a reflection of my observations as a participant and a presenter.
Mekdes Daba: has been a panelist alongside Dr. Barbaba and Dr. Maria from the US and Colombia respectively, on “Bridging Theory and the Real World” where three health system innovation researches were presented. Atul Guande was the moderator. The panelists asked questions focusing on how the research findings could be used in real-world settings. [add picture from Delayehu]
ESOG: The Ethiopian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was represented by the President, Dr. Delayehu Bekelle, who was a panelist on a session that looked at “How have professional associations made important contributions in pre-service education” and was also a moderator in different sessions. ESOG, had its first booth, alongside the other national and international organizations. It was also an honor for the Ethiopian Association to remain in the Executive Committee of the Federation.
Oral and Poster Presentations from Ethiopia: [n=17]
A large Contingent of Presenters: the Rio Conference, has seen a large number of researchers and participants from different institutions in Ethiopia, whose abstracts have been accepted for oral and poster presentations.
Mekelle University – had Dr. Hale Teka and Dr. Awol Yeman, who had presentations on “Analysis of maternal Moratlity At A University Hospital Setting in Northern Ethiopia” and “progression of Gestational Hypertension to pre-eclampsia” respectively.
Jima University – was represented by Dr. Demisew Amenu, who presented the findings of a prospective study, titled “Maternal and Perinatal outcomes of meconium stained amniotic fluid among laboring mothers who gave birth in tertiary hospital in Ethiopia”
St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College – had more than 7 presenters including, Lemi Belay who had 2 plenary sessions on “Accelerated Action for Health of Adolescents” and “Unmet need for contraception, global challenges”; Dr. Feiruz Surur had 2 presentations on “causes of declining maternal mortality in Ethiopia” and “Integrating Abortion into medical education”; Dr. Wondimu Gudu, presented on “Factors influencing Antenatal Care Utilization In Ethiopia”; Dr. Mekdes Daba also presented on “Prevalence of Precancerous Cervical Lesions in Pregnancy. Dr. Matiyas Asrat, had a presentation on “Post Abortion Contraceptive Acceptance and Choice”. The “Qulaity of Family Planning Counseling Among Women Attending Prenatal Care” was shared by Dr. Abel Teshome.
Hamlin Fistula Hospital: had a presentation on “Teaching Tools” by Dr. Fekade Ayenachew
Addis Ababa University – was represented by Dr. Eyasu Mekonnen, who presented on “time to pregnancy and associated factors among couples with natural planning conception in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia” and Dr. Yirgu G/Hiwot also presented on the “Gynaecologic cancer: prevention, screening, treatment, and care, where are we?”Dr. Solomon Kumbi also presented “Reduction of Maternal Mortality from Unsafe Abortion”.
BahirDar University – had Dr. Eyaya Misgan, who presented on “Implementing quality improvement (QI) projects to enhance contraception and abortion care in preservice training of health professionals”
Haremaya University: was represented by Abera Tura, who presented on “Pre-Validation of The Sub-Saharan African Maternal Near Miss Tool”
University of Gondar: was represented by Dr Kiros Terefe, who presented on “Determinants of Long Acting Reversible Contraception Utilization”
IPAS-Ethiopia: had 2 presentations on “Medical Abortion at or after 13 weeks: scaling up services and adverse-event reporting” as well as “Strengthening Post Abortion Contraceptive Service in Ethiopia: improving access to long acting methods by Dr. Demeke Desta.
Hawassa University: shared the lessons on “Treatment Outcomes of Obstetric Fistula and Associated Factors” by Mahlet Lulseged.
Ethiopian Public Health Association/MERQ: shared the findings of “Is sharing the Task of Provision of LARC to Community Health Workers Safe and Effective” by Dr. Alula M. Teklu
Adama Hospital Medical College: was represented by Dr. Fikru Abebe, who presented on “Determinants of Uterine Rupture”