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Back 8 September 2015

ICM Asia-Pacific Conference, Japan 2015

                        JAPAN 2015

3200 midwives from 37 countries gathered in Yokohama from 20th to 22nd July 2015, for the 11th Asia Pacific ICM conference. The conference was jointly hosted by the three professional midwifery associations in Japan – the Japanese Midwives Association, Japanese Nursing Association and the Japanese Academy of Midwives.

In addition to a full day of presentations for Japanese midwives on day 1, there was a very well attended research workshop and WHO panel presentation on quality of care in the afternoon.

The official opening of conference took place on the morning of day 2. Among the invited special guests was Her Imperial Highness Princess Akishono who spoke of her admiration for the work of midwives, making a personal reference to the care she received from midwives when she had each of her 3 children. 

The conference opening was followed by a President’s Lecture by Suga Sakamoto, a midwife and President of Japanese Nursing Association. The keynote address was given by ICM President, Frances Day-Stirk on “Challenges and Opportunities for Midwives in the Post-2015 Agenda”

The conference programme was very comprehensive and at times it was difficult making a decision as to which session to attend during the main 2 days of conference. Concurrent sessions covered all topics relevant to midwifery and there was great variety of workshops, symposiums and special lectures to choose from. ICM President and board members chaired workshops and the twinning symposium and participated in the opening and closing sessions of the conference.

Nester Moyo and Pashtoon Zyaee from ICM Headquarters conducted a pre-conference workshop for Mongolia and Japan member associations who have recently established a twinning relationship within ICM. In addition, a twinning symposium formed part of the conference programme and provided an opportunity for some member associations within the region who have experience in twinning to share their experiences and ‘lessons learnt’. Australia, Papua New Guinea and Japan took part in this symposium.

Several awards were presented at the closing ceremony including one to board member Rafat Jan acknowledging her role in the recent publication of a new midwifery journal – the Journal of Asian Midwives.

No good conference is complete without a memorable social activity and the gala dinner did not disappoint – delicious Japanese cuisine, several entertaining speakers, an enchanting children’s choir, dancing and lots of photographs! Thank you Japanese midwives for your wonderful hospitality.

This was a very successful conference. The quality of papers was excellent, the organization was superb and the conference facility second to none.

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