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Report of AMWI National Conference 2014

The National Conference of AMWI was held at Mumbai on Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th January 2014 at Mayfair rooms, Worli.

A total number of 106 delegates attended the conference; from within Mumbai & other cities mainly from Maharashtra. In spite of traffic restrictions due to the Marathon event on Sunday 19th January 2014, the registered delegates & faculty members could reach the venue in time & attend the sessions. There were 41 faculty members & 44 speakers. 50 doctors were deputed by the National Rural Health Mission.

The theme being "Enhancing Health Care for Humanity" was covered in a wide range. The organizing committee comprising of 44 persons had worked very relentlessly (list attached). MMC credit of 4 hours was sanctioned by MUHS. During the preparatory months, especially the senior members contacted eminent speakers from various disciplines to have a truly multidisciplinary programme.

The inauguration was a grand event, with Dr. C N Purandare, Preisident-Elect FIGO as the Chief Guest & Mrs. Devieka Bhojwani as the Guest of Honor.

The Scientific Sessions included free papers on Medicines, Pediatrics, Allied, Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology. Many participants presented Interesting Cases, Posters, Orations, Guest Lectures & Panel discussions. An open forum on "Empowering women" was also a highlight on the second day.

Dr. Jerusha Jhirad Oration was delivered by Dr. Armida Fernandez. Her topic was "Beyond the boundaries of the hospital, reaching the unreached". She spoke about her personal grassroot work in the Dharavi slum community near Sion Hospital & the Sneha Project. Dr. Usha Saraiya made a short presentation as a Tribute to Dr. Jerusha Jhirad with whom she has been personally associated.

Other speakers included Dr. Gopinath Shenoy who gave a keynote address on "Woman's sexual & reproductive rights & duties – legalities – current scenario". He was awarded the Vijaya Bhalerao Award instituted in memory of Dr. Vijaya Bhalerao mother of Dr. Ashwini Bhalerao Gandhi & mother in law of Dr. Sarita Bhalerao.

Dr. Sadhana Desai Award was conferred on Dr. Hrishikesh Pai who gave a keynote address on Aspects of Infertility.

Dr. Nirmala Mukadam Oration was delivered by Dr. Hema Divakar, President, FOGSI.

Guest Lectures were given by Dr. Kalpana Apte, Dr. Yamini Alsi, Dr. Rajam Iyer, Dr. Radhika Joshi, Dr. Tej Sah &, Dr. Nalini Kurvey.

In the session on "Helping mothers survive" the presenters enacted a very true to life skit on how in remote areas pregnant women attend the hospital only at the time of delivery without any ANC checkup. The PHC's are under equipped to deal with emergencies therefore there is higher risk to the mother & new born resulting in increased morbidity & mortality. The second part of the skit depicted a contrasting situation in a better organized system with ANC & well equipped center offering proper services to women in labour. This would result in a healthy baby & healthy mother.

On Saturday, 18th Jan a dinner was arranged for all the delegates at Hilltop Hotel, Worli, Mumbai. Prior to the dinner a video film produced & directed by Dr. Kirtane on the life of Dr. Anandibai Joshi, India's first women Doctor was screened. Most Doctors in the audience expressed deep admiration for this young lady & her struggle & also expressed sadness for her early demise at a young age of 22 years due to Tuberculosis.

Thanks were mentioned for sponsorships & donations by various companies who arranged for the sessions & had put up stalls displaying the details of their products for the benefit of the doctors. The sponsors were Hindustan Unilever, MD India Laboratories, Abbots, Meyers, Franco Indian, Indoco, Acumentis, Hemant Hegale, Loyeth ,Pfizer, Sun Pharma, Spectra Div, Serum Institute, Sarabhai, Bharat Serum, Nova IVI Fertility, Sanofi, Bayer Zydus Pharma, Mylan & Reliance. During the valedictory session certificates & cash prizes were presented to the prize winners in each of the sessions. The lucky draw was a very welcome event & the lucky persons enthusiastically accepted the surprise gifts kindly donated by various members.

The Conference concluded with a vote of thanks to the participants, donors, sponsors, hall management personnel & organizing committee.