The Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ESOG) would like to congratulate St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College (SPHMMC) on its 75th Anniversary. ESOG has worked and will continue to work closely with SPHMMC on maternal, sexual, reproductive health, and other themes of common interest.
ESOG Warns, Restricting Access to Abortion Care Harms Women and Families
When to become a parent, how one becomes a parent, and what pregnancy decisions each person makes are incredibly complicated personal choices. For individuals with complex medical or family histories, these decisions often require partnering with clinicians to achieve the best outcomes. Even when a pregnancy is planned and wanted, there are times when abortion procedures must be performed to save a life.
ESOG members are dedicated to achieving the best health for all. While members understand that abortion is an emotionally charged issue with passionate, thoughtful people on both sides, and many different diverse views and perspectives, members have a responsibility to do everything possible to keep their patients safe. Therefore, ESOG stands with its members across the country who works daily to help individuals with reproductive decisions. As The Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advocates, decisions about when to continue and when to end a pregnancy are medical decisions and must be individualized in consultation with clinicians.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Criminal Code, Proclamation No. 414/2004 ( 9th May 2005 MOH directive), the abortion part provisions from Articles 551-552 have significantly contributed to the improvement of reproductive health outcomes, especially for marginalized and poor women who have been suffering from health inequities.
Before the endorsement of The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Criminal Code, Proclamation No. 414/2004 ( 9th May 2005 MOH directive), fewer providers received the training needed to perform surgical abortions. There were many health deserts in which there were no clinicians who could end a pregnancy quickly in the setting of life-threatening bleeding, infection, or stillbirth. This directly led to higher rates and more disparate maternal morbidity and mortality statistics across the country. Therefore, we cannot tolerate similar poor reproductive health outcomes to happen again across the country. We always advocate for better reproductive health care, and better abortion care.
Members will never waiver in that commitment to put patient care above all else. Members will continue to work tirelessly to support their patients before, during, and after pregnancy. Members also stand ready to help those across the country who seek to provide equitable, evidence-based care. Members hope for a day soon when everyone has the local protections to medical care that every person deserves.
The Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ESOG) released the following statement in response to any efforts which contradict The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Criminal Code, Proclamation No. 414/2004 ( 9th May 2005 MOH directive), the abortion part provisions from Articles 551-552. Abortion is essential health care, and reproductive freedom is an essential human right. Decisions about all health care, including abortion, are best made by an individual with support from the healthcare system.
Any efforts against The 2004 Criminal Code, the abortion part provisions from Articles 551-552, are unconscionable, signs of violation against individual freedom and human rights, and will be a dangerous move to worsen the morbidity and mortality rates among pregnant women, which already are high in our country. The 2004 Criminal Code (9th May 2005 MOH directive) on abortion care mainly benefited the most marginalized, poor women already suffering from health inequities.
ESOG supports the right of all women to access the full spectrum of reproductive health services, including abortion care which falls under the 2004 Criminal Code (9th May 2005 MOH directive ) on abortion care provisions.
ESOG encourages policymakers to protect access to safe and necessary abortion care and will continue to advocate for better equitable access to abortion care.
The Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ESOG), founded in 1992, is a medical professional society. ESOG represents more than 750 members who care for women, girls, and couples with a different spectrum of reproductive health problems and provides education, promotes research, and engages in advocacy to advance optimal and equitable reproductive health outcomes for all people who desire ob-gyn services and experience pregnancy.
ESOG Executive Board
The Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ESOG) concluded its annual conference on February 22, 2022. The conference themed- Reproductive and Maternal Health Services at Times of War and Conflict- started with virtual preconference CMEs on February 19, 2022. The preconference CMEs brought together dozens of speakers from all across the world for virtual lectures and hands-on training on ultrasound.
Featuring Dr. Bethel Dereje as its master of ceremony, the conference also brought to the stage Dr. Mekdes Daba, president of ESOG delivered the presidential speech, Mrs. Yemeserach Belayneh, advisor to The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, delivered a keynote address, Dr. Ayele Teshome, state minister of Health delivered, opened the conference. As the tradition dictates since recent years, the opening ceremony also saw the welcoming of newly graduating Ob-Gyns from the various institutions and the award of members for their services in health care.
At the opening conference, Dr. Fitsum Araya was awarded this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Brook Getahun, on the other hand, took ESOG’s Distinguished Service Award of the Year. This year’s Award of Honor was given to all Ob-Gyns and health care providers who continued their service to their communities under challenging security challenges. ESOG’s Lifetime Achievement Award is given to lifetime dedication to advocate and promote women’s RH&R. Distinguished Service Award is extended to those health care providers for exceptional contributions to improve the quality of health care in Ethiopia through direct patient care. ESOG’s Award of Honor recognizes initiatives to promote, protect and improve the quality of health care of Ethiopian women.
Chaired by Dr. Zufan Lakew, the plenary session of the conference brought to the stage Dr. Martha Minweyelet, senior advisor at the Ministry of Health (MoH) and lead of Resource Mobilization for Conflict-Related Health Facility Restoration, Dr. Melkamu Abte, head of Amhara Regional State’s Health Bureau, Dr. Mekdes Daba, Mohammed Abdukadier, Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Director, Afar Regional Health Bureau, and Adinew Hussien, acting program director at Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia. The panelists shared their views and experiences on the Challenges of Women in Accessing Reproductive and Maternal Health Services, Susceptibility and clinical care for sexual assault survivors in times of war and conflict, Country preparedness, recovery plan, and Response: the Role of Stakeholders.
At its business meeting, ESOG’s annual conference elected a new president and replaced executive board members who have finished their terms. ESOG’s general assembly elected Dr. Abdulfetah Abdulkadir as its new president replacing the outgoing Dr. Mekdes Daba while Dr. Gelane Lelissa replaced the outgoing vice president Dr. Fikremelekot Temesgen. The general assembly retained former members Dr. Rahel Demissew, who was elected as an honorary secretary, and Dr. Abdu Mengesha. The general assembly has also elected Dr. Tadesse Urgie, Dr. Demissew Amenu, and Dr. Ethiopia Kumlachew.
The scientific sessions of the conference, which were conducted on February 22, 2022, saw presentations from more than a dozen of researchers and a state-of-the-art lecture on war victims’ memorials by Professor Peter Schwartz. The conference also involved a series of sessions on updates on different maternal and reproductive health matters.
The Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ESOG) has concluded its two days of virtual preconference CME sessions and hands-on training on ultrasound. The two days even prior to the Society's annual conference, which will start February 21, 2022 has brought together dozens of speakers from all around the world. The conference themed- Reproductive and Maternal Health Services at Times of War and Conflict will be held at Interlexury Hotel, Addis Ababa. The main event on Monday will be followed by scientific sessions and a state-of-the-art lecture. This year's conference is attended both in-person and is broadcasted online.