Interview with the Organizers of the 41st ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine

In the run-up to the ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine, Mr. Heinz-Jürgen Witzke, Senior Publisher Medical Corps International Forum, visited Indonesia and was granted the following interview with Major General Daniel Tjen, MD, Neurologist The Surgeon General of the Indonesia Defense Force and Vice Chairman of the ICMM/Chairman of the 41stICMM World Congress Steering Committee; Brigadier General Terawan Agus Putranto, MD, Radiologist Chairman of the Organizing Committee of of the 41st ICMM World Congress.
The objective of the interview being to communicate all necessary information concerning the 41st ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine to the international community.

MCIF: General Tjen, General Putranto, thank you very much for taking the time and granting us this interview. Let me start with the very beginning: The decision for Indonesia to invite “the military medical world” to the 41st ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine (WCMM) next year in Bali is a very generous gesture.

What was the initial idea for this initiative?

MG Tjen: Indonesia has been actively promoting peace and providing significant contributions to peace keeping forces internationally and regionally since 1957. At present the country has 3000 peace keepers which have been involved in a number of world peace missions. Indonesia has also been actively involved in a number of international forums, including at the United Nations (UN). Indonesia has been a member of the International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM) since 2009, and long before that we have been actively involved within regional cooperations.

The appointment of our President, H.E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Co-Chair of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and our Minister of Health, Dr. Nasfiah Mboi, Chair of Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria shows international acknowledgement of Indonesia’s role.

Hosting the 41st ICMM WCMM next year in Indonesia will be quite a momentum for Indonesia, being able to show our roles in and contributions to global health-related issues, in line with the health related target of MDGs to be achieved in 2015, international medical cooperation, and humanitarian aspects.  

The 41st WCMM will be an occasion to learn from this contribution. This will be a new opportunity for member countries to work together to strengthen our organization, to address the needs of the profession, to ensure its sustainability in this new century and to contribute with others international stakeholders to the progress of military medicine. It is more necessary than ever to address the challenges the world is facing today in terms of access to health and social welfare.

Moreover, by becoming host, we want to introduce our country in more detail to the international community, particularly to the military medicine world, and demonstrate our role in peace keeping. We also want to show them that Indonesia, especially Bali, has a lot to offer not only as holiday destination but also a place to hold international events since the island provides good infrastructure and supporting facilities for leisure as well as for business travelers.


MCIF: What are your personal expectations for the conference?

MG Tjen: The 41st WCMM is aimed at facilitating the exchange of expertise and the latest scientific knowledge particularly in the field of military medicine and to extend networking between participants. The event provides opportunity for all participants including military and non-military medical and paramedical professionals, academics and related medical industries to share knowledge, technology, new experiences in all aspect of military medicine. 

We hope the WCMM could become a forum for promotion of and investment in the development of military medicine and thus increase capacity building as participants are experts in their fields.  

Moreover, the WCMM is not only a scientific event but should also create momentum to increase contributions by and development of military medicine towards public welfares, sharing of human needs, establishing a lesson learned forum, and opening a leverage effect for our nations and  peace keeping forces. 

Photo MCIF: Could you please provide our readers with some information on the topical focus of the conference.

BG Putranto: The topical focus of the 41st WCMM will be on a large range of health aspects: protecting the health condition of armed forces personnel, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards, malaria management in a modern military environment, emerging and reemerging infectious diseases in specific military populations, environmental and preventive medicine, emergency management of battlefield injuries, military health education and training, military health promotion and rehabilitation, disaster victim identification, mefloquine procons and HIV/AIDS management in specific military populations.

The conference will consist of plenary sessions, poster sessions, 4 (four) workshops, and 5 (five) scientific round-table discussions.  

MCIF: How do you value the importance of the conference for the Indonesian health service?

MG Tjen: This conference will contribute to the development of military medicine as well as increase capacity building in Indonesia, since we see ICMM as the world’s leading professional organization in the field of military medicine. It leads the profession in setting standards and guidelines in the military medicine field. 

MCIF: Could you please illustrate the character and intensity of cooperation between the Indonesian health service and the health services of other nations?

MG Tjen: The Indonesian health service (Ministry of Health) has been active in bilateral and multilateral cooperation within the region and worldwide, such as ASEAN, Asia Pacific, and so on. These co-operations are aimed at sharing knowledge among nations, setting up standards and guidelines to ensure interoperability of medical service personnel, with a common standard of practice (SOP) which has been examined for future applications. 


MCIF: Our readers probably would be interested in an example of such an international cooperation.

MG Tjen: To name just a few of the international co-operations we have been involved in: Pacific Partnership, ASEAN Defense Minister’s Meeting (ADMM), Asia Pacific Military Medicine Conference (APMMC), and many more.

MCIF: The industrial exhibition is usually an important part of such conferences. Is there a message you want to transmit to the international industrial partners in order to encourage them to take part in the exhibition?

BG Putranto: Being the 4th populous nation and maritime country also reflects on the large military authority of the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) including the Army (TNI-AD), Navy (TNI-AL), Indonesian Marine Corps (Korps Marinir) and Air Force (TNI-AU), and additionally, the Indonesian police (POLRI). This has resulted in a large military medical services organization existing in Indonesia. At present, there is still a growing demand for military hospitals in Indonesia as well as up-to-date medical technology to provide healthcare of military personnel spread over 33 provinces within the country. Some type 2 hospitals will also participate at the Exhibition.   

Moreover, many participants from 114 ICMM member countries are specifically responsible in military medicine and involved in the policy making and/or decision process in their respective countries.

I believe this is a huge market that industry cannot pass!


MCIF: General Tjen, General Putranto, let me express my sincerest gratitude not only for granting MCIF this interview but particularly for your concise yet comprehensive statements and the clear and helpful information on the 41st ICMM World Congress on Military Medicine for the benefit of our readers as well as of potential participants from the medical industry.

Please allow me to personally wish you and your team and your great nation all the possible success with hosting and implementing this distinguished international congress!

Date: 07/13/2014

Source: MCIF 3/14