The President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind attended the closing ceremony of the 42nd ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine, where 1,187 delegates from 74 member countries participated on November 24, 2017.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said the theme of this year's World Congress has been appropriately kept as 'Military Medicine in Transition', which portrays both the dynamic and evolving nature of medical science per se and the ever changing and volatile environment of the practice of military medicine in particular.
Complementing the Congress for addressing aspects of training and research, Shri Kovind said that in keeping with the present world scenario, it was important that we focus on two aspects of medicine, that is, training and medical research. He said both are progressive and mandated requirements of the medical profession, which help the organisation and individual to constantly grow and expand.
Noting that a special panel discussion was held on role of women as a combat soldier, the President said women have always in some role or the other been an important part of armed forces across the world. Different countries have different terms of engagement at employment of women in uniform. He said more and more countries are going forward to give them greater responsibilities. In India too, women have evolved as able soldiers in whichever arm our Service they have served in. Shri Kovind said in the field of combat medical care historically, women have had a distinguished record as healthcare providers. He said the Indian Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) has had women adorned the uniform as medical, dental and nursing officers since our Independence and they have served and proved themselves even in extremely difficult situation with great distinction.
Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr Subhash Bhamre, while addressing the Congress, said that the nature of armed conflict has been changing with time and operations have shifted from conventional to unconventional during the past century. He said unconventional conflict has been accompanied by its own peculiarities, and the military medicine professionals have had to suitably adapt to them. Dr Bhamre said the member states have been getting together in such scientific gatherings during the last four decades or so, and over this period of time, have enhanced their skills, knowledge and policies to ensure that they are well equipped and well prepared to face and accomplish any operational commitment as and when one arises.
He said disaster can hit any part of the world at any time, and it is the armed forces which, in addition to its duties of defending its country, has been found to be the most appropriate responders to such eventualities, be it earthquakes, tsunamis, floods or other natural and man-made disasters.
The closing ceremony was also addressed by Director General of AFMS Lt General Bipin Puri. The five-day deliberations at the Congress came to an end with a decision to organise 43rd ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine 2019 at Basel, Switzerland between May 19-24, 2019 on the theme 'Medicine on the Move'.
Earlier the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Naval Staff (COSC & CNS) Admiral Sunil Lanba had inaugurated the 42nd ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine on November 20, 2017. In his address Admiral Lanba emphasised the importance of Military Medicine which provides the medical support required by troops deployed in combat as also in their peace time duties.
The Ceremony was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa, Defence Secretary Shri Sanjay Mitra, outgoing Chairman of the General Assembly and the Committee of ICMM Major General Terawan Agus Putranto from Indonesia, Vice Chairman Maj Gen Al Juaid from Saudi Arabia, other dignitaries from the ICMM Secretariat, Vice Chairman & former DGAFMS and Senior Colonel Comdt of the Army Medical Corps Lt Gen M K Unni, Secretary General Roger Van Hoof from Belgium, Chairman of the Scientific Council Maj Gen Marc Morillon from France and Scientists and Research Professionals from numerous Research Institutes in India and abroad.
pix: GD Mehra and Naresh Kumar