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What the new president of FIGO, Carlos Fuchtner thinks

The new President of FIGO (the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) Bolivian physician Carlos Fuchtner took office on October 19 at the General Assembly during the FIGO World Congress in Rio de Janeiro.

A Campinas’ Ponte Preta Soccer fan, who loves a good caipirinha and Chico Buarque, had his medical graduation at Unicamp and lived eight years in Brazil.

Fuchtner, therefore, knows well our health system, its virtues and weaknesses. Just as he knows the problems of the area throughout Latin America.

During his administration, to extend until 2021, he intends to work for the growing integration of the associations of Gynecology and Obstetrics of the region. Another priority is the fight against violence against women around the world. He then speaks exclusively to SOGESP Magazine.

What is the mark you intend to give to your mandate?

FIGO is a global, strong institution. We have 132 affiliated societies, spread all over the planet. Our focus, historically, is on women's health. We must reduce maternal mortality, facilitate knowledge and access to methods of contraception, promote guidance campaigns on all problems that may eventually affect women, encourage prevention at all times, combat unsafe abortion and so on. But we will undoubtedly work hard against violence against women, both coming from the partner and any other type of violence.

How can FIGO act in defense of women, with the goal of reducing physical, moral, and psychological aggression?

We have a committee dedicated to combating violence against women. The idea is to disseminate information through the media, through campaigns, in the offices, aiming the empowerment of women. We want to see them increasingly aware, strong and demanding their rights throughout the world.

Does FIGO already work on this effectively?

Yes, we have long glimpsed the empowerment of women. This is the motto of each FIGO action, from each committee. I cite as examples the Sexual and Reproductive Health Committee, the Ethics Committee. We seek to strengthen the feminine gender in all fields, especially in those that are inherent to health. As an example, take the case of the Zero Maternal Death by Hemorrhage [Zero Morte Materna por Hemorragia] project, which has helped save the lives of hundreds of mothers and babies in Brazil. It is an initiative taken over by FIGO, FLASOG, FEBRASGO and the Government of Brazil.

How does FIGO position itself on abortion?

FIGO is not for or against abortion. Our goal is to reduce deaths from complications in the world. We work with four cornerstones: preventing unwanted pregnancies with access to effective contraceptives and mentoring on the problem of teenage pregnancy, for example; demanding quality services and insurance in countries where the law allows abortion; respecting each woman and her dignity; granting them what they deserve, the option to perform or not the interruption of a pregnancy, but offering adequate knowledge for the best decision. To FIGO it is primordial not to be for or against. We want to bring the knowledge so that the population is able to make decisions consciously.

As a doctor in Latin America, what do you expect from your own management?

Well, I hope it changes a lot. We have areas where women's health is still very poor. They are practically the same parameters of some low development Asian and African countries. This situation needs to be tackled and reversed.

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