Editor's note: This article did not appear in exactly this form in our hard-copy version of Ostomy Outlook. Instead, this online version has been merged from separate articles in the July and August issues of our hard-copy newsletter. [Another account of this IOA Conference, written by Marilyn Mau, was displayed for a while on the UOA National site.]
The 9th World Congress of the International Ostomy Association was held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on June 16-19, 1997. My wife Marcia and I attended this Conference. Monday, June 16 was a "Medical Day," filled with talks describing the state-of-the-art in ostomy surgery and care. The next three days consisted of meetings and workshops. There were formal dinners on 3 of the 4 evenings, and dinner at a ranch on the other evening. Also, during the two days following the conference, we attended tours (arranged through the Congress), first to Drumheller--site of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology with one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils, then to Banff and Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies.
An important activity took place June 15, the day before the Congress officially opened. Designated "Canada Day," this was a meeting of representatives of all Canadian ostomy chapters. It was the first such meeting on Canadian soil (previously, they had always been held during UOA Conferences in the United States). The big question at this meeting was whether UOA Canada would form a separate entity, independent from UOA Inc (USA). They did indeed vote to split--all but two of the Canadian chapters voted for separation. Thus, dues from Canadian chapters will no longer go to Irvine, California, but will stay in Canada. Canadian members will no longer receive Ostomy Quarterly, but will receive a magazine produced in Canada instead.
The first official event of the Congress, the "Medical Day" on June 16, featured 14 presentations. Here is the complete list of speakers and their titles:
Here are highlights from several of these talks:
Dr. Michael Chetner from University Alberta Hospital explained that there are many kinds of continent urostomies. The Indiana pouch is only one such type. Some newer kinds use a pouch (neobladder) built from stomach tissue. It is increasingly possible to bring the pouch directly to the urethra and avoid creating a stoma--now in men, soon in women.
Dr. Zane Cohen from Mt Sinai Hospital, Toronto, discussed the Kock Pouch (Continent Ileostomy), now falling out of favor due to popularity of the Ileo-Anal Pouch for ulcerative colitis and familial polyposis. Patients with Kock pouches are finding it harder to get help because fewer physicians are knowledgeable about the procedure. Dr. Cohen referred to a small but very interesting "Quality of Life" study that compared three groups of patients (about 30 in each group): Conventional Ileostomies, Kock Pouches, and Ileo-Anal Pouches. The result -- No difference!
Albertus Tappe, ET from Sheffield, UK, described the
"Montereaux Study" -- a very large "medical audit" that monitors
all ostomates post-operatively using surveys. This is done in 16 European
countries and has included
Dr. Yu De-Hong of China explained that stoma care in China was primitive until 1988, when Dr. De-Hong wrote the book "Artificial Anus" and founded the Shanghai Ostomy Club. Help was received from Japan and Australia. Within the past year, the China Ostomy Association was formed, and great progress has been made (See related article "ET Nursing in China" in the July 1997 Ostomy Quarterly).
Maria Ange Fatal, RN from New York City, described an ultrasound probe combined with cystoscope for examining the prostate in men without a rectum. Men in the audience had difficulty retaining composure as Nurse Fatal explained how this instrument is inserted. Nevertheless, it appears to be a significant advance for examining the prostate in men where digital rectal exams are no longer possible.
Workshops were held on Wednesday, June 18. Here are summaries of some of the workshops:
In the first Workshop, Brenda Flanagan (then IOA Vice-President, now IOA President-elect) described ISCAP, which stands for "International Stoma Care Advocacy Programme." This began as an initiative from ConvaTec, but is now owned by IOA and open to all manufacturers. It seeks to develop advocacy activities in selected countries to improve the lives of ostomates. Pilot programs have been conducted in six countries; a detailed report was presented for one of these cases (St Petersburg, Russia).
One Workshop reviewed activities of last year's World Ostomy Day (Oct 5, 1996). The Puerto Rico Ostomy Association won grand prize from Coloplast for best W.O.D. promotion. This Puerto Rican group devoted a full week to W.O.D., including participation in many TV and Radio programs, presentations at hospitals, a Visitor Training course, contacts with government health officials, and several social events. On Sunday Oct 6, the 4th race at El Comandante horse track was dedicated to W.O.D.--an event televised island-wide. As a result of all this publicity, the ostomy association received many requests from ostomates seeking help. (Note: The next W.O.D. will be Oct 2, 1999.)
In another workshop, Di Bracken, President of Friends of Ostomates Worldwide (F.O.W.) Canada, discussed "twinning" arrangements between richer and poorer countries (e.g., Canada is twinned with Algeria). These arrangements include many types of aid besides the traditional F.O.W. approach of donating surplus ostomy supplies. Examples include paying IOA dues for the poorer country, providing medical textbooks and journals to doctors in the poorer country, and providing information on how to form an ostomy association.
Formal delegate meetings were held on Tuesday and Thursday, but we didn't attend many of these, not being among the 3 or 4 official delegates from UOA Inc.
Manufacturers' exhibits were an important part of the Conference. Since it was an international meeting, it included non-US companies that I hadn't seen at last year's UOA Conference (such as Braun, Eakin, and Dansac). ConvaTec and Hollister were there, of course, along with other US companies such as Nu-Hope. In fact, I had a very interesting conversation with a salesman from Hollister regarding differences between products sold inside and outside North America:
I learned that Hollister's most popular product internationally is their "Compact Pouch," which isn't sold in North America at all. Many industrialized countries have government health plans that completely cover the cost of ostomy supplies, and, in fact, provide enough supplies so ostomates can change appliances every day. Here in the US, the emphasis is on long-wearing appliances. In those other countries, appliances that don't stay on as long, but can be changed frequently without hurting the skin, tend to be emphasized.