In September 2012 I attended the Royal Australian & NZ College of O&G Annual Scientific Meeting in Canberra. It was a 3 day conference & I was able to attend the first 2 days (had to get back to work on Wednesday!) There were some interesting topics covered by a range of expert speakers from around Australia & internationally.
I will mention a couple of the highlights for me:
Professor Glen Mola from PNG gave a wonderful lecture on rates of maternal death in the third world (esp PNG) with a focus on causes and what could be done to improve things. It is startling to realize that the rate of mothers dying in association with either pregnancy or childbirth is about 800 per 100,000 (ie 1:125) pregnancies in PNG whereas it is 8 (ie 1:12,500) in Australia, that is 100 times greater. Simple things like contraception & supervised birth by a skilled attendant have the potential to make an enormous difference.
Dr Ruth Fretts from the USA is one of the world’s leading investigators on stillbirth and provided some excellent up to date information on this very important topic which tends to be discussed so little. There is still much work to be done in understanding the causes of stillbirth. Thankfully it is now a much less common occurrence than it has previously been. Some of the challenges facing us in the developed world are the impact of maternal obesity (the number one preventable cause of stillbirth in the developed world) and advanced maternal age (>40 years) on the risk of stillbirth. Nice to know that Australia has one of the lowest rates of stillbirth in world.
These were just a couple of highlights for me from an excellent educational program. Conferences such as these also provide a great opportunity for catching up with colleagues from around the country. The conference dinner was held in Parliament House & was a great night.
- Conference dinner