The 11th Congress of the Asian Society of Stoma Rehabilitation
Learn from Yesterday, Live for today, Hope for tomorrow

The 11th Congress of the Asian Society of Stoma Rehabilitation
Osaka International Convention Center, Osaka Japan
20/40 Report 2019

It was a crispy morning walk as we went our way through the streets of Osaka going to the Osaka Convention Center. Our hotel was about 300 meters away to the venue and it was good that we were well covered with our jackets because of the cold weather that early morning of February.

ASSR Day 1 (February 22, 2019)
The first day of the conference was an opportune time to meet most of the nurses specifically from Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia and Japan who are affiliated with the ASPOA member associations. Dr. Buch and Dr. Shindo were already at work as facilitators of the ongoing presentations from the different speakers. On another part of the convention area was the exhibition hall were the suppliers and distributors of the different ostomy appliances and wound care paraphernalia displayed their products. The first day was more of acquainting myself with the time and lecture room for my presentation that is scheduled on the following day. The topic of course is all about the 20/40 Focus Group.

20/40 Young Adult Focus Group
After the 20/40 was initiated over 19 years ago by Ken and Linda Aukett, I continue to support the programme with the hope that young and responsible ostomates can take up the cudgel of promoting the advocacy for the welfare of those who underwent stoma surgery. In 2008, I proposed the 20/40 Desks for every member country association to which the Japan Ostomy Association (JOA) has been very receptive to the proposal.

Senior ostomy members and officers must have an eye for active young ostomates who can join their association and be formed as future leaders. However, this is easier said than done which really would have to be continually discussed and shared among associations so that young adult ostomates can have their own voice in their respective countries.

The good news for the ASPOA region is that a few member countries are putting their efforts in organizing their 20/40 youth groups. Hopefully, the other countries can follow suit.

ASSR Day 2 (February 23, 2019)
The second day was a busy day since it was also the closing ceremony. We arrived early at the venue. The weather was really cold those days. The call time for my presentation was at 1:00 pm so we had to take an early lunch where I had the chance to chat with Dr. Harikesh Buch. He introduced me to the delegates coming from India who will be the next host for the ASPOA-ASSR 2020 New Delhi Conference. Dr. Katsuhisa Shindo also took a quick lunch where I met him and we had a quick chat. The Japanese food was refreshing and delicious as usual.

Afterwards, I proceeded to the assigned lecture room. Every speaker is given a short time just like when I presented during the WCET meeting in Kuala Lumpur. They are very strict with the time.

The room was big and dimmed because the powerpoint presentation was projected in a big lcd screen. My topic was entitled "Implementing the 20/40 Focus Group of the ASPOA intended for young adult ostomates: assuring the continuity of stoma associations."

The gist of my presentation gave the historical basis of the 20/40 Focus Group stemming from its pioneers upto the work of promoting it in the different regions. In a matter of 10 years, the Japanese Ostomy Association has strengthened the Young Adult Ostomates Group making it existent all over the country among its different chapters. Afterwards, the conclusion of the study was to highlight that the continuity of ostomy groups rely on the formation of young and responsible ostomates.

When I finished my presentation, the facilitators opened the floor for questions. Dr. Buch gave additional insights especially on the mention of the new 20/40 Chair for the IOA Maria-Jose Bouey who has been an active and outspoken young woman in promoting ostomy advocacies.

I would like to invite the doctors and nurses to consider the invitation to form ostomy groups among which is also to tap the services of young ostomates who are the future of their respective support groups.

My heartfelt gratitude also to the Executive Committee particularly Richard McNair, Dr. Harikesh Buch and Barry Maughan who has been kind enough to sponsor us in order to participate in the ASSR Meeting. Thank you to all.