Mr. Richard McNair addresses WCET Congress

     I bring you greetings from my home country of New Zealand and from all of the Ostomy Associations in the Asia and South Pacific region.

I would like to congratulate all of the people who have been involved in the organisation of this the 22 nd Bi-annual Congress of the World Council of Entrostomal Therapists. I am fully aware of just how much hard work has had to go into making this the success that I know it is going to be.

I would like to thank Mariam Mohd Nasir, WCET 2018 Congress Convenor and Susan Stelton, WCET President for the opportunity to speak at this the 40 th year celebration of the WCET.

Last evening we experienced a fantastic Welcome and Cultural Evening. The theme that has been picked for this conference "Ethnocentric Challenges in Nursing Care" is a good one and is applicable to many countries in this day and age, in my own country of New Zealand which only a few years ago was predominantly based on people from the British Isles and our indigenous Maori people has now got a very wide range of Ethnicities, English, Scots, Irish, Welsh, French, German, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, people from most parts of South East Asia, South Africa, America, South America etc and dare I say it even a few Australians!

At the last House of Delegates meeting held in Seoul, South Korea, I had the honour to be elected as the President of the Asia and South Pacific Ostomy Association for the following three years and I would like to welcome you all to visit the stand that we have and discuss any matters of interest that you have with myself and my colleagues, Dr Harikesh Buch from India and Mr Ronaldo Lora from the Philippines, we look forward to talking with as many of you as possible about how we as an organisation can work with you to assist Ostomates in your countries.

The ASPOA Region so far encompasses an area from Iran in the East to Japan in the West and south to both Australia and New Zealand, truly a formidable area. At the time of writing this there are 12 member country associations, some of these countries like Australia and New Zealand have excellent free supplies of ostomy products but we all know that the majority do not and this is something that the ASPOA as an organisation is working to overcome, both by the supply of surplus product from the better off countries and by working with Ostomy Associations in lesser off countries to try and make their governments see the benefit of free supplies, we realise that this is a very long term task in many countries but the work must be done. There ARE many other countries in the ASPOA region who have not yet joined and we are now in fact engaging with medical people in some of these countries in order to help set up organisations to assist Ostomates.

"A journey of a thousand miles starts with but a single step" and if we do not take that step nothing will be accomplished. The aims of the ASPOA are to pass on information, assistance and management guidance to new or prospective associations and one of the tools that we have available is our new website set up by Ronaldo Lora which is The current Executive of the Asia and South Pacific ostomy Association is comprised of Mr Bonggyu Jeon from South Korea, Mr Shiv Raj Kapur from Singapore, Mr Ronaldo Lora from the Philippines, Myself, Dr Harikesh Buch from India and we have asked Mr Barry Maughan to stay on as an advisor to the group. In October this year we will all be celebrating World Ostomy Day which is a worldwide project and this year the theme is "Speaking out changes lives" far too many Ostomates are ashamed of having an ostomy and by doing so they suffer a far more restricted life than they should do. In my country I know of Ostomates who are too scared or too ashamed to go outside of the own homes, a total waste of a new opportunity at a new life.

In order to make World Ostomy Day 2018 truly a world event we are setting up an email tree with regional coordinators feeding information to and from country coordinators and so on down to society / association level and then to individual Ostomates. For World Ostomy day 2018 I have been tasked with the job of Representing the ASPOA in the coordination of the activities worldwide and I am working with Coloplast in the promotion of the event and will be advising about awards and contests that the other manufacturers will have as soon as the details become available.

In my view one of the most outstanding pieces of work that has been done in the ASPOA region has been that carried out by Dr. Harikesh Buch who has spent many hours of his own time training nurses, Doctors and Ostomates in a number of countries in the region and this along with the IOA visitor training program has been of incalculable benefit to Ostomates in the Asia and South Pacific region.

I would like to give you an idea of the program that Dr Buch has set out for himself for the next 2 – 3 years 1) LFSC (LIONS FOR STOMA CARE) AND ASN (ASIAN STOMA NURSE) training course for nurses in stoma care organised in Ho Chi Ming city in Vietnam from 20th April to 25th April 2018. About 40 nurses including 2 senior nurses from Yangon general hospital Myanmar will be trained in Vietnam.

2) In mid-August 2018 there will be training course for nurses in stoma care in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, South America. Mostly there will be short training courses in Lapez (capital city of Bolivia) and in Cocha Bamba in middle of Bolivia as well. Doctors in Peru ( South America) have been told to either to send nurses/ surgeons in Santa Cruz Bolivia or organise similar training in Peru immediately after the course in Bolivia.

3) In first two weeks of October 2018 there will be LFSC training course for nurses in stoma care in Zimbabwe (Africa).

4) Myanmar and Mongolia are in discussions with us for similar LFSC training in stoma care either in June or July this year. But due to local logistics issues it may be in 2019.

There will be an ASSR meeting in Japan in 2018 or beginning of 2019. JOA (Japanese Ostomy Association) also celebrates its 50th year in 2019. In 2019 there will be training course for surgeons from different countries of South American continent in Italy. There will be training course for nurses in stoma care in India just before JOINT meeting of ASPOA AND ASSR (ASIAN SOCIETY OF STOMAL REHABILITATION) in October/ November 2020 in New Delhi.

The ASPOA has a strategic plan for the future which is updated yearly and includes items such as;
a. Using the visitor training program and the ISCAP program (International Stoma Care Advocacy Program) to help strengthen existing or former associations. We consider the ISCAP program to be a vehicle for communication between Ostomy Associations and policy makers in their respective countries.

b. Fostering the twinning of established associations with newer or weaker ones.

c. Continuing the nurse training programs that have been started by Dr Harikesh Buch in order to increase the number of STNs in the region.

The Ostomy Visitor Training program is extremely important as we have found in New Zealand that a prospective Ostomate who has a visit from a current trained Ostomate prior to surgery will come through the procedure far better than one who goes in blind, unfortunately in many countries, mine included, there are privacy laws in place which many medical professionals hide behind and to the detriment of end user and the Ostomate does not receive the benefit that they should.

In New Zealand the national body, The Federation of NZ Ostomy \Societies Inc, has already put in place a National Ostomy Awards program covering both an outstanding Ostomate and an outstanding STN and I believe that this is something that other countries could look at doing.

In Seoul, Mr Barry Maughan our immediate past President was awarded the Archie Vinitsky award by Dr Harikesh Buch for his work on behalf of Ostomates worldwide. Later in 2017 Mr Barry Maughan was also recognised in New Zealand by being awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) one of New Zealand's highest honours.

The IOA Dr Harikesh Buch Professional Services Award is one that is periodically presented to individuals who have unselfishly volunteered their professional services on an International or Regional level and in doing so have significantly impacted the quality of life of people who have or will undergo bowel or urinary diversion surgery and Mr PANG CHAK HAU, an ET nurse was the recipient of the award for 2017.

The Linda Aukett Award for services to young Ostomates for 2017 was presented to Mr. Satoshi Kakimoto from Japan. I would also like to take the opportunity to make mention of the sad passing in 2017 of Mr. Michiaki Takaishi from Japan, Michi was a past president of the Japan Ostomy Association, the Asian ostomy Association and lastly the Asia and South Pacific Ostomy Association and I counted Michi as a person friend as well as being a very able colleague who worked tirelessly for his fellow Ostomates.

In Seoul it was decided that the next ASPOA House of Delegates meeting would be held in November 2020 in Delhi India and we would welcome people from throughout the region to join us there.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to talk to you and I wish you all a very good congress.

by: Mr. Richard McNair
President - ASPOA