Participation: the total number of Ethiopians who participated in around 30, which is 0.27% of the total participants. Given the fact that Ethiopia takes a 1.41% share of the global population, we are underrepresented in this conference. The proportionate number should have been at least 153 participants from Ethiopia.

Cancer:  as a major challenge for developing countries: although cervical cancer remains to be a major challenge for Ethiopia and the other developing countries, it has been seen that the other gynecologic malignancies are on the rise. The health system is ill prepared for provision of cancer care and it has been pointed out that, prevention activities for cervical cancer should still be our priority. Preparation for advanced cancer care was also highly recommended.

Obesity: as an emerging challenge that is following the changes in the socio-demographics of the population including the westernization of the life style of Urban women in Africa (sedentary life style, unhealthy feeding practices), obesity is destined to be a major burden. Given the fact that it is related to more than 195 health problems, the call for action was loud and clear.

ANC: anti-natal care, remains to be critical in detecting both maternal and child health issues in a timely fashion. The need for increasing the frequency of visits from 4 to 8 has been underlined. It has been pointed that the current status of ANC follow-up in Ethiopia hasn’t even made it to the previous recommendation of 4, adequately.

Dr. Awol Yeman, who presented a paper on progression of Gestational Hypertation to Preeclampsia and the determinants, received the prestigious award for being among the 10 best papers.

Dr. Mahlet Yigeremu, was also awarded for an outstanding service in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Other Attendees: 

Drs. Azmach Hadush, Yonas Alemu, Eskinder Kebede, Dawit Desalegn, Abdulfetah Abdosh, Fikremelekot Temesgen, Zenebu Jijo, Nuru Abseno (from the US) were also in Attendance.

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.