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Report of the 43rd ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine


Report of the 43rd ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine

Basel, Switzerland

19-24 May, 2019



The 43rd ICMM World Congress of Military Medicine was held from 19th May to 24th May 2019 in Basel, Switzerland by the Military Health Services of the Armed Forces of Switzerland in collaboration with the International Committee of Military Medicine.

The motto was: "Medicine on the move."

The broad themes of the congress were:
- Military Medical Ethics and Law.
- Cutting Edge Medicine and Leadership in Medicine.
- Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and terrorism defense.
- Civil-Military Cooperation in Emergency Medicine.

The opening ceremony on 20th May was honored by the presence of the Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces, Corps Commander Philippe REBORD.

The congress started with a Keynote Address on the geopolitical situation in the world, presented by the eminent expert François HEISBOURG followed by a video message from Dr. Peter MAURER, President of the ICRC.

This congress was attended by 1160 participants coming from 92 countries.

The four broad themes were the subject of five plenary sessions:
• Military Medical Ethics and Law.
• Cutting Edge Medicine.
• Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Terrorism Defense: Network of Competences and Management.
• Leadership in Medicine and Lean Medical Management.
• Civil-Military Cooperation in Emergency and Disaster Medicine.

Two keynote sessions were held:
1. CBRN Challenges in Military Medicine.
2. Management of Trauma Patients.

Six round tables were organized:
1. Modern Therapy in Dental Medicine.
2. Multi-professional Collaboration and Improving Skills in Military Medicine.
3. Increased Readiness of the Armed Forces - Challenges in Medical Logistics.
4. Inside the Defense Animal Training Regiment.
5. Reduce Mortality on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations - Developing Common Standards for Medical Support.
6. Logistic Challenges of Pharmacy Institutions in "Just in Time" Supply.

The Technical Commissions of Administration and Medico-Military Logistics, Dentists, Nurses and Paramedics, Pharmacists and Veterinarians of the ICMM and the medical department for operations of the United Nations participated at these round tables.

There were 14 simultaneous sessions:
1. Special Topics in Military Pharmacy.
2. Surgical Training in the Swiss Armed Forces.
3. Medical Doctors - Winners for both Civilian and Military Healthcare.
4. Psychiatry Medicine on the Move.
5. New Trends in Military and Disaster Pharmacy.
6. Mountain Medicine.
7. Different Roles as Nurses in Military Medicine.
8. Collaboration between Military and Research Science.
9. CBRN Defense: Responding to Growing Threats.
10. Food Safety and Defense.
11. Space Medicine in Europe: Inspiring the Next Generation.
12. Military Medicine and Surgery in the Battlefield.
13. Update on Infectious Diseases.
14. Command your Future - Leadership in Military Medicine and Beyond.

There were six sessions of free presentations.

On Tuesday, 21st May and Thursday 23rd May, the 9th Workshop on Military Medical Ethics was organized under the theme: "Ethics of dealing with risks in military medicine”.

The scientific program of this 43rd World Congress gathered more than 200 presentations from more than 32 members countries. This result can be considered remarkable. Plenary sessions, debates, round tables and simultaneous sessions have generated a lot of interest. The program was a real scientific feast and was a rewarding experience for all the delegates who recognized that the scientific level was remarkable. Several bilateral and multilateral contacts have taken place, which we hope will lead to many scientific collaborations.

The exhibition of medical equipment enabled participants to discover the latest innovations in medical equipment and treatment methods.

Major General Claude MEIER, Chief of Staff of the Swiss Armed Forces participated at the closing ceremony of this 43rd ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine and addressed the participants.

During the closing ceremony, on Friday, May the 24th, the Jules Voncken price was awarded for the best scientific paper published in the International Review of the Armed Forces Medical Services (IRAFMS) to Lieutenant Colonel Fahmi HAOUAM, from Algeria, for his article “Cranio-Cerebral Gunshot Wounds: Outcome Predictors” (Vol . 91/4, p. 31).
The William Bainbridge price was awarded for the best poster presented during the congress: "Sudden Death in the Army: From 2007 to 2014 Review of Death Registry". This poster was presented by Lieutenant Colonel Sungmin KO, MD from Republic of Korea.

Our Swiss guests also organized cultural excursions on Wednesday, May the 23rd.
They also offered an Icebreaker on Sunday, the 19th and a Head of Delegates Dinner on Monday, the 20th in a beautiful historic setting. A fantastic Gala Dinner was offered on Thursday, the 23rd of May.

At the ICMM General Assembly three new countries members were admitted:
- The Republic of Kenya,
- The Republic of Mozambique,
- The Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

The National Delegates have listened to the report of the Secretary-General, of the Chairman of the Scientific Council and of the Chairmen of the five Technical Commissions and of the Director of the ICMM Reference Centre for education of international humanitarian law and ethics.

They elected Major General Geert LAIRE, MD as the new Secretary General and they re-elected Major General Pierre NEIRINCKX, MD as Deputy Secretary General, each for a term of four years.

Colonel (Vet.) Leander BUCHNER (Germany) was re-elected as Chairman of the Technical Commission for Veterinary Science.

The General Assembly also accepted the project of the ICMM Director of Finances, Colonel (ret.) Chris DEROUBAIX on the financial support for young members of the military health services in order to be able to participate at the ICMM Congresses.
The General Assembly accepted the elaboration of a project on the creation of a Reference Center on Mental Health.

The new Vice-Chairmanship of the ICMM has been appointed: the national Delegate of the United States, generously offered by Belgium at the co-founding country of the ICMM. (Belgium organizes the 44th ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine in Brussels in 2021). Major General Terawan Agus PUTRANTO, MD (Indonesia) was accepted as Honorary Chairman of the ICMM.

The Delegate of Australia announced to be willing to organize the 45th ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine in Australia in 2023.

The national Delegate of Belgium, Major General Geert LAIRE, MD presented the themes of the 44th ICMM World Congress to be held in Brussels in 2021, the centenary of the founding of the ICMM.

The General Assembly have listened to the presentations made by representatives of three organizations with which the ICMM has signed an MOU: the World Health Organization (WHO), the Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Veterinary Association (WVA) and also to the reports of the Chairmen of the six regional working groups of the ICMM (Maghreb, Pan-African, Pan-American, Pan-Arab, Pan Asia-Pacific, Pan-European).

The financial activities of 2017-2018 and the budget for 2020-2021 were presented by the Director of Finances, Colonel (ret.) Chris DEROUBAIX. The General Assembly voted to discharge the Secretary General and his team for the 2017-2018 accounts and approved the 2020-2021 budget.

The General Assembly was chaired by the current Chairman of the ICMM, Major General Andreas STETTBACHER, MD (Switzerland).

The ICMM is very grateful to the Federal Councillor Viola AMHERD, Head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sorpt (DDPS), to Major General Andreas STETTBACHER, MD; to the Congress Director Colonel Daniel FLÜCKIGER and his staff; to the Director of the Scientific Committee, Professor Zeno STANGA, MD and his team; to the Director of the Organizing Committee, Major Fabian ALDCROFT and his team, and to all those who made the success of the 43rd ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine.

We hope to see you all at 44th ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine in Brussels, Belgium in September 2021. During this 44th World Congress the Centenary of the ICMM will be celebrated.

Dr. Roger VAN HOOF
Major General (ret), MD
Honorary Secretary General of the ICMM