The 8th ICM Asia Pacific Regional Congress of Midwives: 'enriching discussion and exploration': Patricia Gomez of the Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines writes of the events in Cebu, the Philippines, at the Asia Pacific Regional Congress.

Author:Gomez, Patricia

The Congress--on the theme of 'Empowered midwives: a gateway to global health'--was held in the attractive surroundings of the Waterfront Hotel, Lahug, Cebu City, Philippines, October 15-17, 2006.

It was the first time that the Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines (IMAP), Incorporated, had hosted the Asia Pacific Regional Congress of Midwives. Seven participating countries sent their representatives to link arms with midwifery colleagues on this momentous occasion. These countries were New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Cambodia, Indonesia, USA and of course, the Philippines.

The congress ran for three days and Filipino delegates were delighted to benefit from the opportunity of this event in the history of IMAP and midwifery profession in the country. There were 280 participants, 40 foreign delegates and 240 Filipinos, the majority coming from the educational institutions and academia, particularly midwifery school principals, clinical instructors and even midwifery students.

The congress opened with a very festive mood of sinulog (a festival of dance associated with Cebu City held to honour the Santo Nino) to welcome the participants to the beautiful city of Cebu, mirroring its history and culture through the dance presentation. It was a pleasure to welcome acting ICM Asia Pacific Regional Representative, Sandy Grey, who attended this event. The World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative, Dr Jean Marc Olive, gave the keynote speech as he discussed the 'WHO: towards Achieving the Millennium Development Goals.'

A welcome reception was provided to entertain the delegates during the first day of the congress.

Midwifery education

The educators' forum marked the second day of the congress. The whole morning was filled with enriching discussion and exploration about the different midwifery curriculum models of the different participating Asia Pacific region countries. Speakers from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, USA and Philippines presented the current midwifery education model of their own countries.

The aim of this activity was to serve as a basis for the...

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