ICM Asia Pacific Regional Conference Revitalising midwifery: refocus, redefine, rebirth: Sylvia Fung, President of the Hong Kong Midwives Association, describes a dynamic and successful midwifery event in a region with a fast pace of change.

Author:Fung, Sylvia

After months of hard work by the midwives of the Hong Kong Midwives Association, and the ICM regional representatives--all in their free time--the 7th International Confederation of Midwives Asia Pacific Regional Conference was successfully held at the Sheraton Hotel on 27-28 November 2003 in Hong Kong. There were over 260 participants from the Asia Pacific Region at the Conference and about 40-50 in each of the workshops. The Conference provided a forum to examine innovative and contemporary midwifery developments through keynote speeches, symposia, workshops and poster presentations, involving world-renowned scholars, local and international clinical practitioners and researchers.

Opening ceremony

Classical Chinese music set the scene for a welcome to delegates who came from Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Speeches of welcome were delivered by Ms Sylvia Fung, President of the Hong Kong Midwives Association; Ms Caroline Weaver, President of ICM; and Ms Sandy Grey, Regional Representative of ICM.

The Honorable Ms Rita Fan, GBS, Justice of Peace, the Chairlady of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, showing her unfailing support to midwives and the welfare of women, kindly officiated at the Opening Ceremony despite her tight time schedule in government affairs. She made many encouraging remarks.

Keynote addresses

Three internationally renowned midwife leaders enlightened us with their inspiring keynote speeches.

Joyce Thompson, Director of the Board of Management of ICM, expressed her opinion that it was very timely for us to 'rethink, redefine and rebirth' midwifery. In her speech, 'Midwifery: the challenges of being a profession', she highlighted the dependence of professional midwifery upon ethics, competencies, regulation and education. Those essential elements, as emphasised by ICM, would be a framework for exploring and understanding how professional midwifery could make a positive difference in the lives and health of women and childbearing families.

Professor Sally Pairman, Head of Midwifery at the Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand, focused on 'Building competency through education'. Scenario-based teaching, with clients' involvement, is used to integrate theory and practice. Clinical experience is mainly provided through continuity-of-care models. Students will be placed one-to-one with experienced midwives to develop competence and confidence...

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