Reflections on the first conference of the International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health convened in India, a middle-income country
Since its establishment in 1980, all biennial conferences of The International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health had been convened in high-income nations. Relatively little consideration had been given to the experiences and needs of most women who live in the world’s low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The aim is to provide an account of the first conference convened in India, a middle-income country. The Global Experiences, Global Dialogues, Global Responses Biennial Conference of the International Marcé Society for Perinatal Health was convened at the National Institute for Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) held in Bengaluru 26th–28th September 2018. The conference achieved all its aims of maximizing access for people living and working in LMICs through scaled registration fees, building capacity through a young professionals’ program, promoting collaboration through symposia co-convened by South Asian and other international experts, and visits to NIMHANS’ clinical services. It made an impact on the agendas of sister expert professional societies, and public policies in India and generated significant public interest. It was appraised as pivotal, transformative and presenting exceptionally high-quality science. It was financially successful in making the largest contribution to date from a biennial conference to the Society’s resources. We commend this initiative to other international expert professional societies seeking to benefit from the opportunities for mutual learning that conferences convened in low- and middle-income countries can provide, and to reduce disparities in access to evidence to address health inequalities.
KeywordsInternational conference Perinatal mental health Low- and middle-income countries India
We are indebted to the many colleagues and organisations who contributed to the success of this conference, but especially the committed and wholehearted collaboration with NIMHANS which made it possible.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
We declare that we have no potential conflicts of interest.
Statement of informed consent and human and animal rights and informed consent
This paper is not reporting research involving human participants, and therefore no informed consent was required.