Professor Priya Soma-Pillay of the University of Pretoria’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology was recently elected to serve on the executive board of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). The organisation has member societies in 136 countries, with 26 countries represented on the executive board. FIGO is dedicated to the improvement of women’s health and rights, the reduction in disparities in healthcare available to women and newborns, as well as advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology
Prof Soma-Pillay currently heads UP’s Maternal and Fetal Unit, and obtained her PhD in Obstetrics this year from the university with a thesis titled ‘Maternal health after severe acute maternal morbidity’. She is a well-known academic, and is actively involved in several national bodies including the National Committee for the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths (SA) and the College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, where she is an official. She is also the honorary secretary of the South African Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and will be representing the organisation on FIGO’s executive board.
South Africa sent a strong delegation to FIGO’s conference, recently held in Rio de Janeiro, where the new board was elected. Senior members from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology presented papers on subjects such as contraception (Dr Zozo Nene), oncology (Prof Greta Dreyer) and clinical obstetrics (Prof Bob Pattinson).
UP’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology believes Prof Soma-Pillay’s appointment to this prestigious position will enable her to represent South Africa in improving women’s health globally.