UPDATE FROM YOUR PRESIDENT   

What is the mission of FIGIJ?  We strive, worldwide, to improve the reproductive health of young people by raising the bar for clinical care, research and education in all things PAG. 
Together, we can accomplish much.  FIGIJ is your organization; it brings together PAG experts from all corners of the globe, including NASPAG, EURAPAG, ALOGIA, SIGIA,SAGIJ,and every other set of PAG initials you can name.

Where does FIGIJ leave its mark?  Every place we can!  In 2013, we turned to Africa as a place where PAG education and service could make a big difference.  Thanks to the FIGO 1st World Congress for OB GYN in Africa, we had the opportunity to network with our colleagues from various African countries, visit a fistula hospital, and make the connections to partner with Ethiopian medical schools.  Dr Judy Simms-Cendan, NASPAG and FIGIJ member, has brought PAG education curriculums to 14 medical schools in Ethiopia, partnering with Dr. Alemseged Sequar, Dr. Yirgu, and many others. Dr. Sabrina Bakeera-Kitaka, Dr. Betsy Pfeffer and colleagues have been teaching principles of adolescent medicine and communication to medical students and residents in Uganda.  

 

PRESIDENT’S WELCOME TO FIGIJ 

Welcome to the website of FIGIJ, or the Federation Internationale de Gynecologie Infantile et Juvenile. Our mission is to improve the reproductive health of girls and young women from birth to adulthood worldwide; to educate those who serve this population; to further the research in this field; and to advocate for the health of our youth worldwide. 

Girls ages 10 to 19 years old represent 1,200,000,0000 of the population worldwide, or 19% of the total world population. Many of these young women live in impoverished situations, in both developed and developing countries, where teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections are high in prevalence, and access to reproductive health is limited. For the adolescent, perinatal mortality may be two to five-fold higher than that in women of 20 to 30 years of age. HIV, impacting population health in Africa and some other countries, continues to be a disease affecting one third of adolescence, with 6000 young people infected daily, and 1/3 of infections occurring in youth ages 15 to 24 years. Many of these individuals have no idea about their positive serology and continue to pass on infection. Although girls in developed countries have better access to contraceptives and reproductive health care, they tend to initiate sexual activity earlier, often without the capability for abstract thought or ability to foresee consequences (a capacity that comes usually in late adolescence, if at all). Girls in developing countries may start sexual activity later in adolescence, but without the benefit of education on reproductive health and contraceptive access. Sexual abuse occurs in one out of four girls by the age of 20, and one in six boys. Girls who have been sexually abused tend to take it out on themselves with self harmful behaviors and limited perceived options; boys who have been sexually abused are at risk of “acting out”, or repeating the cycle.

We have much work to do. Together, we can work towards improving the reproductive health and access to care for girls and women worldwide. We can do this through educating those who have the honor and privilege of providing care for our youth, to increase the numbers providing pediatric and adolescent gynecology services across the world. IFEPAG, or the International Federation for Education in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, is the official organization that can provide certification for those who wish to subspecialize in this field. Please see the IFEPAG link to learn more about the certification process.

Our goals also include advocacy for the reproductive health of our youth, in partnership with organizations such as FIGO (the Federation Internationale of Gynecology and Obstetrics), ACOG (the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), SAHM (the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine), UNFPA, and multiple other organizations. Those individuals engaging in research in reproductive health for girls and women will find an academic home in FIGIJ, with our world congresses as an avenue for high profile sharing of information. We also encourage dissemination of research and information at the various worldwide PAG organizations, including NASPAG, EURAPAG, ALOGIA, and all such groupings. FIGIJ can be thought of as an umbrella organization for all PAG organizations, bringing all of us together with a unified goal of improving the reproductive health of girls and young women. Working together, we will accomplish more than each of us can do as separate entities. We look forward to the challenge- join us in our efforts!

Ellen Rome, MD, MPH
President of FIGIJ
WHAT'S NEW

As a FIGIJ member, you can receive a discounted online subscription to JPAG, our official journal of FIGIJ.  Go to www.jpagonline.org

Come to Florence!  Register for our 18th FIGIJ World Congress in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, held at the Palazzo dei Congressi, Firenze Fiera, on June 25-June 28, 2016.  Just click on this link register now: http://www.wcpag2016.org.  Abstract deadline has been extended to April 30, 2016, so there is still time to submit your abstract! 

Plan your trip to Italy now!  A pre-congress conference in Italian will precede the World Congress, on June 24-25.  Come network with colleagues, learn cutting edge PAG techniques, share your best practices that improve the reproductive health of youth worldwide, and of course, enjoy the hospitality, gracious camaraderie, and fabulous food of Italy!  We will honor our tirelessly working SIGIA Past President and Honorary WCPAG President, Professor Vincenzina Bruni, and we have great appreciation for her colleagues who have worked so hard to organize this 18th FIGIJ world congress, including ESIDOG President and WCPAG Congress Chair Secundo Gauschino, SIGIA President and FIGIJ Treasurer Gabriele Tridente, and their hardworking team. Abstracts are due January 31, 2016.  Questions?       Call +39 02 91434000, or email wcpag2016@netcongresseducation.com. Or visit our FIGIJ conference website at http://wcpag2016.org.   We hope to see you in Florence!

Where Has FIGIJ Been?  Since we last wrote, we had just been to Ethiopia in 2013 for the 1st FIGO African Congress in Obstetrics and Gynecology.  Since then, we have traveled to Istanbul for the International Association of Adolescent Health, the European Society for Contraception in Copenhagen, yearly NASPAG meetings with a growing contingent of FIGIJ members, and of course, participated in World Contraceptive Day, thanks to the efforts of FIGIJ Board Member Jose Enrique Pons (our beloved Quique).  In the fall of 2014, the FIGIJ board met and participated in the EURAPAG meeting hosted by BritSPAG in London, thanks to the effort of FIGIJ Board member and BritSPAG President Professor Paul Wood.  In 2015, we again met at the NASPAG meeting in Orlando, Florida, with Paul Wood delivering a keynote, "The Cutting Edge of Cosmetic Labioplasty" and board members convening in person and by skype.  Thanks to the efforts of FIGIJ, FIGO world congress offerings now include a growing PAG presence.  At the  at the FIGO World Congress in Vancouver in the fall of 2015, a FIGIJ sponsored session on PAG Pearls included talks by Dvora Bauman on "Just the Same but Different: Recognizing Variations in Presentation between the PAG Patient and the Adult"; Ellen Rome presenting "Bleeders and Clotters, or Vaginal Bleeding in the Adolescent", and Paul Wood shared his talk on the Cutting Edge of Cosmetic Labioplasty.  FIGIJ has survived on skype, GoTo Meeting, and plenty of emails.  Our earliest web efforts have been thwarted, but 2016 represents a new year, with new energy vested in the success of our web presence.  Please let us know what you would like to see posted on our website, and what links you would find most useful.  Email your FIGIJ president, Ellen Rome, at romee@ccf.org with any suggestions.

 

Here is Ellen, visiting Lucy in Addis Ababa, having first met Lucy ironically as a child    at the Cleveland Museum of Natural    History in her Ohio hometown...!

 

Welcome New IFEPAG Fellows!  During   our recent visit to London in September 2014, five new IFEPAG fellows passed their written and oral examinations.  These superstars in pediatric and adolescent gynecology include: Hanadi Adnan Bakhsh, MD, from Italy but working in Saudi Arabia; Elisabetta Ferrucci, MD, from Italy but working in Switzerland; Eva Homolkova, MD of the Czech Republic,  Helena Neumannova, MD, from Prague, Czech Republic; Eveline Roos, MD, of the Netherlands.  Strong work from some stellar ladies!

The IFEPAG fellows, who now number 220 from 1997 to 2014, met at the EURAPAG meeting held in London from September 17-20, 2014. We look forward to the day when pediatric and adolescent gynecology is formally recognized by all organizations worldwide as a necessary and integral part of subspecialty training.  In the meanwhile, we now have 220 more experts, formally recognized through this examination, with specific expertise in PAG, ready to provide outstanding patient care, disseminate knowledge and further the research in our field!  Special thanks to our former IFEPAG chairman from 1997 to 2013, Professor Ramiro Molina Cartes, for his amazing contributions to IFEPAG and to our field.  He brought us into the new millenium with our current online examination and expansion of knowledge in the field.  Thanks, Ramiro!  Our current IFEPAG director is Professor Symphorosa Chan of Hong Kong; Deputy Codirectors are Professors Gabriele Tridenti of Italy and Sonia Grover of Australia, and our IFA coordinator is Professor Dvora Bauman of Israel. 

FIGIJ at Goes to Africa!  We take our mission of improving the reproductive health of youth worldwide seriously- and in October 2013, FIGIJ had the opportunity to accelerate our efforts in Africa.  Three of our board members, Professors Paul Wood, Gabriele Tridenti, and Ellen Rome traveled to the 1st FIGO Africa Conference of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Addis Ababa.  At our well attended FIGIJ-sponsored seminar, topics included menstrual manipulation: non- contraceptive uses of contraceptives; the cutting edge of female genital mutilation; and the challenges of congenital abnormalities of the reproductive track.  Quotes to remember: "I did not think it was possible that FGM might be ended in my lifetime, but now I have hope."  We also had the chance to go to one of 7 obstetric fistula hospitals in Ethiopia, where girls and women whose lives previously felt extinguished were given hope, skills, surgical repair, with a 95% successful reentry into their prior life.  The other 5% still have hope, mainly choosing to become health care workers helping other girls/women with obstetric fistula.  Overall, this conference was an outstanding means of meeting fascinating people, exposure to a different culture, and a chance to further our agenda to improve the reproductive health of African youth. 

See What You Missed!!!  The 17th FIGIJ World Congress on Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology in Hong Kong was held March 15-17, 2013, at the Prince of Wales Hospital.  Keynotes included Marc Laufer sharing surgical highlights on optimal treatment of endometriosis, Vincenzina Bruni discussing PCO, Sarah Brucker on the management of genital tract anomalies, and Jan Horejsi on the history of PAG.  Dan Apter shared an update on improving the sexual and reproductive health of our youth, and Judith Goh discussing surgical fistula occurrence and treatment of pregnant and postpartum patients  in Africa, a topic new to many of us. Participants from over 54 countries came together to share ideas, present research, and put a spotlight on PAG activities in the far east.  On a social note, we experienced face dancers, a secret art of the region, ate so many courses of exquisite Chinese food that we lost count, saw a spectacular light show over Victoria Harbor, and saw a youth performance of martial arts.  Many thanks to Professor Symphorosa Chan and her colleagues for hosting us in this outstanding congress!

 

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