Advancing midwifery agenda in different forums
September saw me in the Asia-Pacific region visiting China, Hong Kong and Bulgaria for the ICM Pan-European meeting. At the invitation of Dr. Pang Ruyan, Vice-President, China Maternal and Child Health Association, my first stop was China, for a High Level forum on midwifery development in China and meetings with key academic, hospitals, government and non-governmental representatives in Beijing and Shanghai in support of midwifery development. Prior to the high level forum, I visited the Third Hospital of Peking University, met with key academics, government and non-governmental representatives in Beijing in support of midwifery development. This included Dr. Luc Hong, Deputy Dean and Zhu Xiu (Peking University School of Nursing - PKUSON), Dr. Song Li, Deputy Director-General, Maternal and Child Health Department, National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), representatives of UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and Save the Children.
Chinese midwives all smiles with the ICM President, Frances Day-Stirk (2nd R)
This was a packed and productive one-week visit; in understanding the midwifery situation in China. I was also able to share information on the ICM and broader perspectives on midwifery development.
At the invitation of Dr. Joyce Pulcini from George Washington University School of Nursing and Alice Sham, President of the Hong Kong College of Midwives, I attended the 9th International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Nurse Practitioner, /Advanced Practice Nursing Network Conference between 9-11 September. The theme of the conference was Advancing Nursing. Advancing Health: Emerging Possibilities. I presented a keynote on the role of the midwife and strategic conversations that are essential to midwives, midwifery and sexual reproductive maternal and newborn health in the 2030 era; and to learn about Hong Kong system as well as the challenges and opportunities in advanced practice in nursing from the other plenary speakers. I was delighted to meet nursing colleagues Frances Hughes, ICN Chief Executive and Professor Frances Wong, Chair, Hong Kong Academy of Nursing and midwife colleagues from the Hong Kong College of Midwives, Alice Sham (President), Jessie LAI Chit Ying (Sn Vice-President), Man Bo Lin (Treasurer) and Sylvia Fung, former ICM Board Member. It was also nice seeing Hong Kong and the enjoying legendary cuisine.
23-26 September, Bulgaria
The first Pan-European meeting in 10 years was held in Sofia, alongside the European Midwives Association Meeting, hosted by the Alliance of Bulgarian Midwives. The meeting was organised by the Board Members from the European Region; Ingela Wiklund, Rita Borg Xuerub and Serena Debonnet, and attracted forty-nine members from 24-member associations. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to meet old friends and new faces and share some of the achievements of ICM throughout the triennium. And for the participants to meet the Board Members, EMA and ICM colleagues and discuss position statements and their input into the Toronto 2017 Council meeting.