The SOGC – AOGU partnership was conceived at the FIGO 8th World Congress in Colombo in 1998. This landmark meeting between Dr André Lalonde, Executive Vice President SOGC, and Dr Pius Okong, AOGU, was the start of the twinning programs between SOGC and AOGU. The twinning program was designed to implement a first FIGO Save the Mothers and Newborns Project in a rural district in Uganda. It was then decided that the SOGC – AOGU partnership should be further strengthened, so that AOGU can build its capacity to become leaders in sexual and reproductive health in Uganda.
Since 1998, the AOGU has taken concrete steps towards improving the association’s ability to respond to the needs of its members and to assume a leadership role in regards to sexual and reproductive health in Uganda.
AOGU’s efforts are supported by the Partnership Program of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC). This program, which is financed by theCanadian International Development Agency (CIDA), brings technical and financial support for the development of organizational capacity not only to AOGU, but also to the professional associations of obstetrics and gynaecology in Burkina Faso, Guatemala and Haiti.
With support from the SOGC Partnership, AOGU has been able to strengthen its organizational capacity, and moreover, its ability to contribute to the improvement of maternal and neonatal health in Uganda. Specifically, such strengthening of the organizational capacity of AOGU, has allowed for greater leadership in the following areas:
Within the association:
- Establishing a functional secretariat
- Opening membership to allied health professionals
- Establishing new partners and collaborators
- Developing a strategic plan
- Organizing an annual scientific congress for health professionals
- Developing the association’s website
Outside the association:
- Upgrading the skills and knowledge of health professionals involved in EOC via theALARM International Program
- Piloting the development and implementation of maternal mortality audit processes throughout the country
- Providing technical expertise to the parliamentarians who lead the passing of the Safe Motherhood Bill
- Contributing to the development of the Ugandan roadmap to decrease maternal and newborn mortality
- Supporting the Save the Mothers Masters Program
- Taking an active role in the development and dissemination of national guidelines and protocols through Continued Medical Education and other activities
- Participating actively in community mobilization activities via the FIGO Saving Mothers and Newborns Project in Kibale and Kiboga
- Introducing best practices for emergency contraception in Uganda, supported byPopulation Council
- Being involved in formative research before the introduction of the HPV vaccine in Uganda, with the Child Health and Development Centre, Makerere University, supported by PATH
- Participating in activities which are aimed at increasing awareness about cervical cancer, as well as screening initiatives
In order to continually strengthen AOGU’s capacities, the association has undergone two organizational capacity assessments to analyze its strengths and weaknesses, and to determine which areas require the most attention in order to become a strong, viable association whose objectives are successfully attained.