About The Conference:
The first ICM Africa Regional Conference was held in Ghana in 2007. Part of recommendation from this conference was the need to institute a series of Regional Conferences across Africa that would allow Midwives to share experiences and best practices in order to increase advocacy and influence policy on Maternal and Infant health. Subsequently, Uganda Private Midwives Association was selected to host the 2nd ICM Africa Regional Conference in May 2010. The conference was a success with about 300 participants from 11 countries across Africa in attendance.
The Kenya Midwives chapter was nominated to host the third ICM-Africa Conference in 2013, and was also nominated chair of the Planning Taskforce.
At both the Ghana and Uganda conferences, midwives expressed growing concerns about the statistics from their countries on MDGs 4 & 5 and the seeming lack of improvement in African countries. It was therefore unanimously deliberated that country Midwives Associations should pull their efforts together to establish an umbrella Regional body representing all Midwives Associations at continental level. The new body would advocate and collaborate with other continental bodies and partners to improve maternal and newborn health in the region. A Task Force was formed and successfully spearheaded the establishment of the regional body, CONAMA.
The 3rd International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Africa Regional Congress was held as scheduled, on 14th July to 19th July 2013 at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi Kenya.
The event was hosted courtesy of the Midwives Chapter of Kenya and various health partners and stakeholders across the globe.
The congress exceeded the projected 400 participants and attracted over 450 delegates drawn from Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Congo Brazzaville, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Iran, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.
During the event, the newly formed continent-wide organization called CONFEDERATION OF AFRICAN MIDWIVES ASSOCIATIONS (CONAMA) was officially and successfully inaugurated at a gala dinner on the 17th of July 2013at the same venue.
The program was in three parts;
- Pre-Congress meetings:
- The Task Force meeting on 14th-16th till noon July 2013 comprised of CONAMA Task Force, two leaders per country Midwives Association and major stakeholders
- ICM Stakeholders Regional Planning Meeting on 16th Afternoon comprised of All African Associations Presidents, Health Partners and the CONAMA Task Force members
“Midwives impacting on Maternal and Child Health in Africa: Evidence and Opportunities for improvement”
- Maintaining standards in midwifery education and service for quality MNCH
- Midwives and life-saving interventions for MNCH
- Health Policy and Systems Strengthening for midwifery improvements in saving mothers and newborns
- Evidence in action: Midwives impacting MNCH through best practices
Sessions were held through plenary interactions, sponsored workshops, symposia and scientific sessions. National and international organizations working in the area of MNCH improvements were invited to host/sponsor sessions and use the opportunity to educate, train or update delegates on topical issues such as maternal and newborn interventions to save lives, family planning, comprehensive abortion care, immunization and nutrition care.
Policy makers, programmers and researchers were also present to share experiences, evidence and best practices.
OVERALL OUTPUT OF THE CONFERENCE AND CONAMA INAUGURATION
- African midwives were updated and trained in key interventions for saving mothers and newborns
- Policy issues in midwifery improvements were discussed
- Evidence on midwives-led initiatives were shared
- Development of Strategic directions for sustainable quality midwifery was initiated
- CONAMA was launched and actions for implementation approved
THE EVENT PARTNERS AND SPONSORS:
- The hosting Partners:
The Midwives Chapter of NNAK, Ministry of Health Kenya, The LAMRN, International Confederation of Midwives (ICM)
- The Sponsoring Partners:
Ipas Alliance, UNFPA Kenya, UNFPA ESARO-SA, AMREF International, AMREF Kenya, Aphia + Imarisha by AMREF Kenya, Johnson & Johnson, Jhpiego Baltimore, Aphia + Kamili by Jhpiego Kenya, International Confederation of Midwives( ICM), GE Global Growth & Operations, WHO Geneva, Engender Health Uganda, Emory University Kenya Project and Medsurge Healthcare Ltd