The origins of UPIGO go back to 1953. Doctor COURTOIS brought together in Paris an international liaison committee of professional organisations of gynaecologists and obstetricians (CILOPGO) - 14 countries were members of this international committee.
In 1955 CILOPGO changed its abbreviation and became UPIGO. This took place under the chairmanship of Professor RAVINA (France) and in the presence of Professor KELLER (Strasbourg), official FIGO delegate.
In 1958 UPIGO played a very active part in the creation of the European Union of specialist doctors, UEMS. Of 13 founding members, 6 were gynaecologists-obstetricians. The UEMS brought together specialist doctors of the then "Little Europe", European Economic Community. The first chairman of the UEMS was Doctor COURTOIS (France) who was secretary general of the UPIGO at the same time
During the first twenty-five years of its existence, that is, until 1983, the EUMS section for gynaecology-obstetrics was not an entity, but was simply represented by UPIGO, in perfect accord with the statutes of the EUMS. In 1983, UPIGO carried out, at the request of the European Commission, a report on the state of the specialisation in Europe. The definition of our specialisation as an indivisible medico-surgical discipline was accepted by the European Community, and a minimum of five years training was suggested.
Since 1990, EUMS has founded a competent European Bureau for the training of specialists for each specialisation. It is thus that EBGO was created (European Board of Gynaecology and Obstetrics). Simultaneously, and under the patronage of UPIGO, l'E-EBGO (Extended European Board of Gynaecology and Obstetrics) was set up to cover the other European countries (those European countries outside the European Community). EBGO and E-EBGO drafted a number of European recommendations for specialisation in gynaecology-obstetrics. These recommendations, presented at the forum of Debrecen in 1993, were adopted by EUMS and are an integral part of its European Training Charter for medical specialists of 1995.
In 1992, ECOG was founded (European College of Gynaecology and Obstetrics), under the auspices of the Royal College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians (RCOG) in London.
ECOG also examined the training of specialists, so much so that for a few years there were two gynaecology-obstetric organisations operating in exactly the same domain at European Community level: EBGO and ECOG, both of which were working on the training of gynaecologist-obstetricians. After some negotiations, ECOG and EBGO decided to combine their energies, fusing in 1996 under the name of EBCOG (European Board and College of Gynaecology and Obstetrics). EBCOG is a working group of the gynaecology-obstetrics section of EUMS. The field of action of EBCOG is the whole of the European Union, currently covering twenty-five countries.
For many years the activities of UPIGO and the single-speciality section in gynaecology and obstetrics of the EUMS, EBGO, were more or less confused. The same delegates often represented their countries within the various organisations.
The situation was later clarified. The EUMS and EBCOG treasuries were separated from that of UPIGO.
The General Assembly in Marrakesh in 2001 marked a turning-point in the history of UPIGO, and the beginning of its extension to Africa.
Currently eight African countries are members of UPIGO. This allows UPIGO to have a better awareness of the terrible discrepancies in access to care. In certain regions, almost half of women give birth without a doctor or midwife, and even in the complete absence of health professionals.
UPIGO’s combat for quality care for all women in this world is far from over !