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Report of the 42nd ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine

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Report of the 42nd ICMM World Congress
on Military Medicine

Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, India
November 19-24, 2017

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REPORT OF THE 42nd ICMM WORLD CONGRESS ON MILITARY MEDICINE

The 42nd ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine was organized in New Delhi, from the 19th to the 24th of November, 2017 by the Ministry of Defence of India in collaboration with the International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM) under the main topic: «Military Medicine in Transition: Looking ahead».

The Broad themes were:
- Terrain specific military medical support: challenges and solutions,
- Health protection and promotion in the military environment: experiences and best practices,
- Combat medical support: technological advances and implications,
- Humanitarian aid and disaster relief: implications of a changing global scenario.

The Opening Ceremony on the 20th of November was honoured by the presence of the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of India, Admiral Suni LAMBA accompanied by Air Chief Marshal DHANOA, CAS, General Bipin RAWAT, COAS, Mr Sanjay MITRA, Defence Secretary.

The congress started then with a Keynote address by Lieutenant General (ret): NK PARMAR «Military Medicine: Past, Present and Future».

The congress was attended by more than 1,000 participants representing 75 countries.

The following main topics were discussed in 4 Plenary Sessions:
1. Innovations in Field Medical Care,
2. Lessons learnt from the relief effort after the 2015 Paris and 2016 Brussels terrorist attacks.
3. International collaborations in military medicine: The way forward,
4. Contribution of Military Medicine to the Advancement of Medical Science.

Four Panel Discussions were organized:
1. Women in combat: Challenges for health care providers
2. Health screening of recruits: How much is enough?
3. Veteran’s health: Who takes responsibility?
4. Medical disability benefits. Too little too late?

In two workshops the following topics were presented:
1. Management of mass casualty situations. conducted by the Teaching Centre for Trauma Emergency and MCS, Rambam, Health Care Campus, Israel.

2. Barrier nursing for Hemorrhagic Fevers. Conducted by the Bundeswehr Tropical medicine center of Hamburg, Germany.

The Technical Commissions of the ICMM for Dentistry, for Nursing and Paramedics, for Veterinarians and for Pharmacists organized their own round Tables.

There were 25 simultaneous sessions:
- six under the topic « Terrain Specific Military Medical Support »: High Altitude Medicine, Marine medicine, Aerospace Medicine, Extremes of temperature, Nutritional requirements in different terrains and Special Operations-Counter-insurgency Operations;
- six under the topic « Health Protection and Promotion »: Mental Health, Lifestyle Diseases and Health screening, Empowering the Primary Medical Officer, Rehabilitation and Veterans Health, Vaccines and Immunisation and Optimizing physical & mental performance of soldiers;
- three sessions under ‘Technical advances and innovations’: surgery & allied specialties, Medical Monitoring, Diagnostics and Critical Care, Medicine & allied specialties;
- three sessions under « Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief, Ethics »: International Peace Keeping Missions, Mass Congregations of Population/Migrants, Medical Ethics.
- three under « Medical logistics and casualty evacuation »: Casualty evacuation – current concepts, Operational Planning and Medical Logistics
- two under « Clinical military Medicine »: Infectious Diseases, Environmental Medicine. and
- two sessions under « Human Rights, Ethics, training »: Human Rights and the Soldier, Military Medicine Training.

Also four sessions of free papers were organized. There was a Scientific Session on Disaster Management with lectures on ‘Medical planning for disaster management’, ‘Medical provisioning for disaster management’ and ‘Experiences and lessons learnt from relief efforts during recent natural disasters in India’.
Finally, a Military Medicine quiz was organized during the congress.

The scientific programme of this 42nd ICMM World Congress contained more of 300 papers from more than 30 countries of the world. This is may be underlined as remarkable. The four plenary sessions and panel discussions generated a lot of interest as did the workshops and parallel sessions. The program of this world congress was an actual scientific festival and an enriching experience for all the delegates who agreed with the statement that once more the scientific level of our meeting has been improved. A lot of bilateral contacts took place, being hopefully a prelude of future international collaborations.

During the 42nd ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine, a medical exhibition was held to allow all participants to discover the latest innovations in medical and pharmaceutical equipment.

The Honourable President of India, Sh Ram Nath KOVIND, honoured with his presence the Closing Ceremony and addressed the participants.

During the closing ceremony on Friday, the 24th of November, the Jules Voncken prize for the best scientific article published in the International Review of the Armed Forces Medical Services (IRAFMS) was awarded to Lieutenant Dr. Philip A. ROTHBERG, MD, MPH&TM, MC, USN for the article: «Dismounted Complex Blast Injury Patterns: A Review of Current Management and Outcome Literature» (Vol. 90/1).

The William S. Bainbridge prize for the best poster presentation during the 42nd ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Marie-Hélène FERRER (French Forces Biomedical research Institute) for the poster: «Identification of operational stressors useful in lifesaving simulation».

The Lieutenant General Bipin PURI, Director General of the Armed Forces Medical Services, made his speech at the Closing Ceremony

As cultural part of the congress, our hosts from India organized an Icebreaker party on Sunday evening, the 19th of November, a « Heads of Delegations Dinner » on Monday evening, 20th of November, and the Gala Dinner on Thursday evening the 23rd of November.

On Thursday the 23rd of November, our hosts in India organized also a visit to the Air Force station in Hindan where the participants at the ICMM World Congress could appreciate a demonstration of the Rapid Action Medical Teams of the Air Force of India working in a C-17 in Casevac configuration; a jump of the Akash Ganga sky-diving team, a demonstration of the Air Warrior Drill Team and of an helicopter team.

Moreover, during the congress, the partners of the participants of the congress could register for various cultural events and trips.

The General Assembly, which was held on the occasion of the World Congress, accepted five new members: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Djibouti, Uganda and Vietnam; listened to the activity reports of the Secretary General, the Chairman of the Scientific Council and the Chairmen of the five Technical Commissions and of the Director of the ICMM Reference Centre for Education on International Humanitarian Law and Ethics, agreed upon a new mandate of 4 years for Major General (ret) Professor Marc MORILLON as Chairman of the Scientific Council, for Senior Colonel Arne KRAPPITZ (Germany) as Chairman of the Technical Commission for Pharmacy and for Colonel Amar KOSARAJU (USA) as Chairman of the Technical Commission for Dentistry. The General Assembly appointed Brigadier General Professor Humbert BOISSEAUX as Deputy Chairman of the Scientific Council, Colonel Lizzy BERNTHAL (UK) as the new Chairwomen of the Technical Commission for Nurses and Paramedics and Senior Colonel Min YU (China) as the new Chairman of the Technical Commission for Administration and Logistics.

The Islamic Republic of Iran proposed the creation of a topical workgroup for Military Mental Health.

Two new ICMM Vice-Chairmen were appointed: the Surgeon General of Switzerland Major General Andreas STETTBACHER was appointed as Vice-Chairman of the ICMM because, Switzerland will host the 43rd ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine, in 2019 in Basel and the former ICMM Chairman Major General Dr. Terawan Argus PUTRANTO (Indonesia) is now the second Vice-Chairman and replaces Major General PhD S Muhammad AL-MALIK (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) who is accepted now as Honorary Chairman of the ICMM.

The National Delegate of Belgium, Major General Dr. Geert LAIRE, announced that Belgium will host the 44th ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine in Belgium in 2021 (Centenary of the ICMM).

The General Assembly heard the presentations of three International Organizations which have a MOU with the ICMM: The World Health Organization, The International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Veterinarian Association and the presentations of the Chairmen of the six Regional Working Groups (Pan African, Pan American, Pan Arab, Pan Asia-Pacific, Pan European and Pan Maghrebian).

The financial statements of 2015-2016 and the budget for 2018-2019 were presented by the Director of Finances of the ICMM, Colonel (ret) MMA Chris DEROUBAIX.

The General Assembly discharged the Secretary-General and his staff of the financial statements of 2015-2016 and approved the ICMM budget for 2018 and 2019.

This General Assembly was chaired in an excellent way by the present Chairman of the ICMM, Lieutenant General Bipin PURI, VSM, PHS (India).

The ICMM is very grateful to the Minister of Defence of India, to the Surgeon General of India Lieutenant General Dr. Bipin PURI, to the former Surgeon General of India, Lieutenant General Dr. M. K. UNNI, to the Chairman of the Steering Committee and his team, to the Chairman of the Organizing Committee and his team, the Chairman of the Scientific Committee and his team, to the Conference Director and to all the people who made this 42nd ICMM World Congress of Military Medicine very successful.

We are looking forward to meet you all at the 43rd World Congress on Military Medicine in Basel, Switzerland, from the 19th to the 24th of May 2019.

Roger VAN HOOF, MD
Major General (ret)
Secretary General ICMM

Speech of the President of India, Honorable Ram Nath Kovind at the Closing Ceremony of the 42nd ICMM World Congress on Military in New Delhi, India, 24 November 2017.

Interview of the President of ICMM, Lieutenant General, VSM, PHS, Bipin PURI, for the preparation of the 42nd ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine in New Delhi, India 19-24 November, 2017.

Photo Gallery of the 42nd ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine.