A continuum of global and headquarters activity takes ICM forward into 2006; Kathy Herschderfer is in India at the Taj Mahal, a monument to a woman's death in childbirth and a reminder of the importance of work towards safe motherhood.

Author:Herschderfer, Kathy
 
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I write this from Agra, India, the former seat of the Mugal Empire, which is the setting for the Taj Mahal, the magnificent white marble tomb built in the 17th century by Shah Jehan for his wife, Arjuman Banu Begum, who died giving birth to their child.

Yearly, thousands of tourists visit this beautiful building, a testimony to Indian architecture and design. I can only hope that the story behind it--the tragedy of maternal mortality--is also taken away with the visitors and spread throughout the globe. Despite vigorous efforts, high levels of maternal mortality and morbidity still prevail in many places. However, there are success stories documented and these are often linked with an increase in the numbers of skilled and qualified healthcare providers, including midwives, for childbearing women and their families.

International Day of the Midwife 2006

As we enter a new year, we are acutely aware of the fact that the world will be facing a growing crisis: the shortage of skilled and qualified healthcare providers in all regions and settings. This will be the theme of the World Health Report in 2006. ICM recognises the importance of Making Pregnancy Safer: the Critical Role of the Skilled Attendant (WHO/ICM/FIGO 2004) and has proposed that the 2006 International Day of the Midwife (IDM) activities be centred around this issue.

The theme of the IDM in 2006 will be 'The world needs midwives--now more than ever'. ICM Headquarters is planning to organise awareness raising and promotional activities around this theme and will be able to provide ICM Member Associations with background information and materials.

Governance

We are looking forward to the year 2006, the first year in our transition triennium. Because of the gradual implementation of the change in governance structure of ICM during this time, the ICM Board will consist of the nine nominated and approved regional representatives and the four newly elected officers (President, Director, Deputy Director and Treasurer). A smaller group, consisting only of the elected officers, will be known as the Petit Comite (PC). In the first issue of IM in 2006, Judi Brown, ICM Director, will report on the first PC meeting, held 23-25 November 2005 in The Hague.

The PC is responsible for the initial work on the operational framework of the new governance structure, the strategic workplan for this triennium and the preparatory work done for the (full) Board. Communication with the rest of the Board...

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