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World Congress 2015: RCOG President David Richmond Looks Back At Brisbane

Blog 21 April 2015

I am very pleased to report that the 2015 World Congress in Brisbane, Australia was a great success.

The event, which the RCOG hosted jointly with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), was dedicated to improving women’s health around the world and attracted more than 2,000 attendees from over 40 countries (please see below for details).

The three-day scientific programme was remarkable for its topicality, for the depth and breadth of its scientific content and for its intellectual challenge. It featured several world-renowned speakers and ten daily streams on a wide variety of obstetric and gynaecological topics, which enabled attendees to participate according to their own personal interests and clinical practice.

The themes of the Congress included reproductive health, fertility, the menopause, maternal and fetal medicine, labour and oncology, with a focus on the public health challenges currently facing women in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and other countries.

The keynote speakers were all acknowledged world experts in their field. They included Dr Alan Altman, a consultant gynaecologist based in Aspen, Colorado, who discussed the use of menopausal hormone therapy; Professor Roberto Romero, Chief of the Perinatology Research branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)/National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland, who spoke about the prevention of preterm birth; and Professor Diana W. Bianchi, M.D, Executive Director of the Mother Infant Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, who discussed non-invasive prenatal testing.

In addition, Professor Ian Fraser talked about the development of the HPV vaccine from his Brisbane research unit; Professor Pedro Ramirez spoke about the role of prophylactic surgery in cancer prevention and about the current updates in the management of ovarian cancer and early stage cervical cancer; and Professor Camran Nezhat, who is often described as the father of laparoscopic surgery, talked in detail of the challenges and opportunities in minimal access surgery.

One of Congress’s other highlights was the extensive question and answer panel hosted by award-winning Australian television journalist, Tony Jones. A range of global issue relevant to our specialty were discussed during the Q&A, including models of care, genetic screening, contraception, sexual health and the medical workforce. The Congress sessions on labioplasty, treating Down’s syndrome in the womb and women’s health rights were amongst those that generated considerable media coverage in both the British and Australian newspapers.

Once again, the World Congress displayed the very best of our discipline and reinforced the immense privilege that I feel to be leading this College at such an exciting time. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank RANZCOG for co-hosting the Congress with us and making us all so welcome in Brisbane

Attendees were attracted from Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Egypt, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lesotho, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe.

To view the highlights of the Brisbane Congress, please see the RCOG Storify page.