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By Gladys Kila

Tabubil Private Hospital midwives, Sr. Julie Poiou and Sr. Kukuone Konige were attendees of the 33rd International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Triennial Congress held recently in Bali, Indonesia.

The ICM Congress is an International event held every three (3) years, uniting midwives around the world to discuss or focus on midwifery practice.

According to Sr Konige, “the event was exciting and very informative as the Congress had different sessions, presentations which were mostly based on research and on evidence base”.

“We also had the opportunity to hear from world – renowned experts and practitioners on topics in maternal and newborn health such as strengthening the midwifery workforce, addressing health inequities, digital health and innovation, and humanitarian issues, climate change and health.

“With an emphasis on evidence-based practice and real on the ground impact, this was an excellent opportunity to learn, network, and contribute to the advancement of midwifery and maternal and newborn health,” Sr. Konige added.

The three main research topics that PNG representatives prepared are:

  • Strengthening Papua New Guinea’s Policy environment for midwifery (a review of the development of the first midwifery policy in the Pacific),
  • The Papua New Guinea (PNG) midwifery leadership buddy programmes (a mixed methods evaluation),
  • And Life – saving training for Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) in low resource settings were not presented due to changes in the Conference Program.

Sr. Konige added that the purpose of the ICM to support, represent and work to strengthen the profession of all Associations of Midwives throughout the world, and shared some good midwifery practices in PNG such as encouraging pregnant mothers to have safe hospital deliveries rather than delivering in the bush hut or village because of the high rate of Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in PNG.

ICM works closely with the WHO, UNFPA and other UN Agencies; global professional health care organizations including the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the International Paediatric Association (IPA), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), non-governmental organizations; bilateral and civil society groups.

A total of 133 countries participated in the conference of which 21 representatives are from Papua New Guinea.

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