The 42nd World Congress of the International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM) organised by the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) began here today. The ICMM is an international inter-governmental organisation created in 1921 with its secretariat at Brussels in Belgium and currently has 112 nations as members. The five-day event is being organised for the first time in India, and is the largest medical conference ever organised by the AFMS. The theme of this 42nd World Congress is “Military Medicine in Transition: Looking Ahead.”
Around 350-400 foreign delegates from 80 countries are attending the event. In addition, about 300 Indian delegates comprising Armed Forces Medical, Dental, Nursing and Veterinary Officers are participating in it. Top Indian scientific institutions, MoD, Ministry of Health, the United Nations and the International Committee of Red Cross are also represented at the Congress.
There are 26 thematic sessions covering diverse areas including “Terrain Specific Military Medical Support”, “Health Protection and Promotion in the Military Environment”, “Combat Medical Support”, and “Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief”. Workshops by international faculty on management of mass casualties, barrier nursing for haemorrhagic fevers and medical ethics in military medicine are going to be other highlights of the Congress. Panel discussions on women in combat, medical disability benefits, veterans’ health and health screening of recruits are also planned.
The President of India will address the delegates during the valedictory function on November 24, 2017. It will be graced by the three Service Chiefs and high ranking defence and civil officials. The World Congress is going to provide an excellent opportunity for all participating nations to exchange ideas and experiences, thereby enhancing the collective intellectual assets of Military medicine, which would ultimately facilitate the Member States to face the challenges of a rapidly changing global security environment.