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South Asia

Current projects in South Asia, 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 Ranee Thakar, International Council Represenative for South Asia

Dear all,

I am delighted to welcome you to the South Asia international membership web page.

As the International Council Representative for South Asia, I am passionate about ensuring that my region’s needs are being met and their interests represented in front of Council. The South Asia region retains some of the RCOG’s highest membership numbers, making up almost 30% of our overseas membership. I am very proud of these figures and hope to see them rise under my term.

I thrive on engaging with local members and national societies and I aim to meet with regional IRCs quarterly and hope to visit every nation under my remit.

My area of specialty is Urogynaecology. I lead on the Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injuries (OASIS) workshop that focuses on the diagnosis and repair of 3rd and 4th degree perineal and anorectal tears. I will also be taking over as President of the International Urogynecological Association (IUGA).

Please feel free to reach out to me with your queries and/or feedback!

I look forward to our work together!

With regards,



8-12 January 2019
Bangalore India

5-7 September 2019
Kolkata, India


International Representative Committees (IRCs)

  • India/AICC
  • Nepal
  • Myanmar
  • Pakistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Sri Lanka


Liaison Groups (LGs)

  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Sri Lanka
  • Myanmar 


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

  • Maternal mortality
  • Rising caesarean section rate
  • Post-partum haemorrhage
  • Delayed referral systems resulting in late diagnoses of gynaecological irregularities
  • Communication skills training
  • Gender relation inequalities affecting women’s access to family planning.

Maternal mortality (MM) was one of the two most frequently expressed concerns by South Asian international members. The region has struggled with stagnant numbers and many members are fearful that the data does not reflect reality, as it seems there is no system in place to record maternal deaths. This has been an especially distressing issue in Nepal (particularly in the rural areas).

Secondly, the rising Caesarean Section (CS) rate has become a concern across the board. IRCs fear there is an overall lack of instrumental delivery education within the specialty, thus doctors will turn to CS in the event of a complicated childbirth without considering instrumentally assisted birth.

Post-partum haemorrhage (PPH), as a huge contributing factor of MM, was also identified as a health priority area.

Many South Asian members have expressed their frustrations with their respective doctor referral systems, as they often lead to late diagnoses of gynaecological irregularities.

Communication skills training was highlighted as a necessary proficiency to develop for doctors. Generally, doctors lack communications training and support, particularly for delivering difficult news and sensitive information to their patients. Advancing these skills would lead to more respectful interactions with the patient community as well as higher levels of trust.

Gender relations and cultural differences can affect women’s access to post-partum / family planning services. International doctors have identified challenges when providing their patients information about these services for example: at appointments, patients are frequently accompanied by their husband or male family members who prohibit the prescription of family planning methods


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