This week, as I thought about theapproaching Christmas season and the end of 2016, I listened to a radio programme that triggered in me a perspective previously never considered. The topic of discussion was Christmas, the birth of Christ and what if any meaning it had in the UK and the world today. You might wonder what the view that conflict and immigration had characterised much of the year has to do with midwives and midwifery. Two reflections resonated with me the story of the birth of Christ is really a story of a refugee family fleeing persecution: forced migration and conflict.
This is what many countries have experienced in 2016 as intolerance increased worldwide. We only have to think of Afghanistan, DRC, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Paris, Berlin, to name a few, as to witness the impact of the twin scourges. Many midwives have faced these situations and others, such as the Ebola epidemic, with courage and dedication even whilst paying a high price – the loss of their lives. We remember, honour and salute them.
Once every 3 years midwives have the chance to gather together, meet with, share and learn from each other and international leaders in the field. That time is fast approaching and the time to sign up for the 31st ICM Triennial Congress, June 2017, is now. This is the world’s greatest gathering of midwives with leaders from different aspect of midwifery and women’s sexual and reproductive health. Where global leaders of non-governmental organizations, midwives associations, research, educators, public and private organisations and UN agencies gather in one place for one week to focus on Midwives - Making a difference in the world.
So as and we end 2016 I wish you a season of peace and joy and I look with forward, with hope to successful Council and Congress, to a more peaceful and safer world for women, their babies and families and to us all.
Our office will be closed from 21 December, 2016 - 3 January, 2017.
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