Who the IVF are they?
When Louise Brown was born in 1978 she was the first IVF person in the world. Now, it is a worldwide phenomenon with thousands of organisations devoted to fertility issues. Each month Louise Brown will look at a single organisation and explain what they do and how they support fertility issues.
My mum had a fascination for Egypt. In fact when she died in 2012 we had a holiday booked and she was looking forward to seeing the pyramids. Her sudden death meant we had to cancel. So, it was amazing to stand by the Great Pyramid of Giza in Cairo this year and pay tribute to mum.
I was there to give a talk at ASOGIC 23 – the 23rd Ain Shams Obstetrics and Gynaecology International Conference.
Ain Shams is a university in Cairo that was founded in 1950, which includes a university hospital. The annual conference is now recognised across the world by obstetricians and gynaecologists as an important place to discuss new developments in women’s health and fertility.
There was a huge range of professors and doctors discussing so many aspects of women’s health and their enthusiasm showed as every night sessions ran later than scheduled into the evening because of so much enthusiasm from those talking part.
Telling my mum’s story
I told my mum’s story to a packed main hall as part of a session looking at the patient experience – sometimes in all the science and medical achievement it is worth remembering that at the centre of everything is an ordinary woman who just wants help with her problems.
ASOGIC includes a section of trade stands, workshops where people can discuss topics and set piece lectures and presentations in four large halls. The line-up of guest speakers from all over the world was impressive.
Why Louise believes attending these events are important
Conferences like these take place all around the world and they are important gatherings where knowledge can be shared, helping to bring the latest techniques, ideas and best practice into all corners of the world.
After a long day of discussions and media interviews, spreading the word about IVF on television stations in Africa, the organisers kindly arranged for me to go to the Egyptian Museum to see Tutankhamun’s Treasures and to see the pyramids and sphinx.
I know my mum would be very jealous.