Discussing the consequences of economic crisis on women’s and children’s health: the 2nd Global Forum on Economic Crisis, Women’s Health and DOHad Consequences at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) in London from 3 to 4 April 2019, brought together experts in the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concept, obstetrics & gynaecology, neonatology & paediatrics, public health, health economics, social science and education along with representatives from government and non-government organisations including the World Health Organization (WHO).
EFCNI Chair Silke Mader joined the Forum as a patient representative and elaborated from a global and long-term perspective on how the social and economic crisis weighs on patients, parents, and families affected by preterm birth or by the death of mothers or babies.
Poverty, unemployment and labour market uncertainties disproportionately affect young people, but it is less well recognized that effects on young women in particular can be transmitted to the health of the next generation. The economic crisis in Greece provides data showing significant perinatal risk factors (increased maternal age at conception, caesarean section rate, low birth weight and preterm birth). These effects will have long-term consequences, emphasised by the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concept, impairing child development in the first 1000 days of life and increasing the risk of later non-communicable diseases (NCDs) across two generations.
Using the data from Greece as a starting point, the Forum aims to consensus and suggest potential avenues which might be productive for WHO and EU in making recommendations on what inventions might be effective for the benefit of populations, not only in Greece or the EU, but globally.
The Forum is organised by FIGO (International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology), DOHaD (International Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Society), and the WHO (World Health Organisation).
Many thanks to the organisers and Professor Gian Carlo Di Renzo for inviting EFCNI to this important discussion platform.