ICM--keeping our members in touch: ICM Secretary General Kathy Herschderfer rounds up 2006 and looks forward to 2007.

Author:Herschderfer, Kathy
Position:International Confederation of Midwives

Among the strategic directions set by its Council for ICM last year was a focus on strengthening midwifery associations, selected partnership and representation for midwives in the global arena. The work carried out at ICM head office this year has taken forward these activities in many ways. As we draw to the end of our year, I'd like to give you an idea of some achievements of this past year and what we can look forward to next year.

The first and most important area is our communications with ICM's member associations. We have welcomed with great pleasure some new members: the Association of Midwives of Mozambique, Papua New Guinea Midwifery Society and Association of Azerbaijani Midwives. Thanks both to increasing use of electronic mail and new roles in the office which place such communication as a high priority, we have felt more closely in touch with members than ever before. We have had excellent responses to surveys, news bulletins and press releases, and requests for information. I would like to express real appreciation to those who have made these efforts to communicate as I know in many countries it is not always easy or straightforward to find the time or the technology to do so. Just as one example, more reports of your celebrations on the International Day of the Midwife were received than ever before, and these were published along with some wonderful photographs in International Midwifery.

Among the most significant of our collaborative activities has been the production and dissemination of a new joint statement on the prevention and treatment of post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) with the International Federation of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians (FIGO). This new statement does not replace the previous one but addresses these issues in relation to practice in low-resource settings. We have also published a supplement to this volume of International Midwifery which highlights the importance of the fight against maternal deaths from PPH, and you can read in it about the successes so far of this powerful campaign.

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has been extremely supportive of midwives in its recent initiatives and it is with their support that we are this month holding a workshop in Tunisia which focuses on the work of the midwife in the community, an immensely important aspect of midwives' work that demonstrates its unique roots of partnership with families and communities.

There are significant moves elsewhere among the...

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