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Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the Gulf

Current projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the Gulf, as well as details of RCOG International Representative Committees and Liaison Groups in the region.

You’ll also find information about volunteering opportunities, the work other people are doing overseas and how to get in touch with them.

Welcome from Hassan Shehata, International Council Represenative for MENA & Gulf

Dear all,

It is with pleasure that I welcome you to the international membership webpage for MENA & Gulf.

Throughout my whole career I have been an avid proponent for the health and wellbeing of women and girls. As an O&G consultant, I’m a subspecialist in Maternal Medicine, Reproductive Immunology and Recurrent Miscarriages. Next to my clinical responsibilities, I’m an Honorary Senior Lecturer in O&G at St George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London as well as the RCOG International Council Representative for MENA & Gulf.

My role at the College has allowed me to pursue my passion for advocacy and support the battle against FGM and gender-based violence. I aim to raise awareness of these issues, with the help of IRCs and local stakeholders during all my regional visits.

I am further very proud of the fact that my region will be hosting the RCOG World Congress in 2020 in Muscat, Oman which will allow us to demonstrate the astounding calibre of expertise this region retains.

Please feel free to reach out to me with your queries and feedback.

I look forward to our work together.

With regards,

UAE IRC Fellows and Members Election September 2021

September 2021

Details of the United Arab Emirates IRC election

International Representative Committees (IRCs)

  • Egypt
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Qatar
  • UAE
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait


Liaison Groups (LGs)

  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Syria


Top women’s health concerns and challenges, identified by our committees:

  • Family Planning
  • Rising Caesarean Section (CS) rate
  • Complications in pregnancy due to obesity

Family planning was identified as a major health concern in the region, as women have cited inaccessibility and lack of knowledge of family planning methods. Furthermore, there is a need to raise male awareness of contraception to avoid unintended pregnancies.

The region bears some of the highest rates of C-sections globally, this is due to fear of arising complications during natural birth and the possible litigations it may lead to for doctors. Consequently, instrumental delivery training has been on a decline.

A prevalence of obesity among women of a reproductive age has led to health concerns over complications during pregnancy, such as hypertension, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and etc. In addition, to adversely effective neonatal outcomes and risking childhood obesity and childhood metabolic syndrome.



Elsewhere on the site

Global health projects
Find out more about the RCOG’s global health projects and partnerships
Support our work
Find out how you can help support the RCOG’s work to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity worldwide