Message from your President.

(Newest on top.)

13 July 2017

Dear EOA Members, dear friends,

With pride and great joy I invite you all to our 15th EOA Congress, which will be from 5th October to 8th October 2017 in Høje Taastrup (near Copenhagen, Denmark).
The EOA-EC, in co-operation with the organizing committee of the Danish Ostomy Association COPA, has prepared an interesting programme.
COPA will set-up a special website, where you will find all the information about the Congress.
During the Congress we will stay at the Quality Hotel, Høje Taastrup, which is from Kastrup Airport to Copenhagen Central Station about 20 minutes by train and from there to Hoje Taastrup it is another 15 to 25 minutes depending on the train you take.
See: Quality Hotel Hoje Taastrup

About the programme:
Thursday 5 October.

Welcome dinner at the Quality Hotel

Friday 6 October.
After the official opening of the EOA Congress there are a number of interesting lectures.
The ostomy equipment companies have been invited and they will be present at the exhibition at the Quality Hotel.
In the afternoon, there will be a performance by the Conker Group from London.  Recommended to watch!

Saturday 7 October.
The 20/40 Focus group.

A meeting has been organised especially for the young members (aged 20-40) on Saturday morning.
We ask each EOA Association to send young members to the EOA Congress as representatives from their country.
It is most important for young people to take part in our Congress to meet others of the same age and situation and to exchange experiences, which are relevant to their age.

Meeting of the House of Delegates.
Also on Saturday morning the Meeting of the House of Delegates will take place. The agenda was sent on 9th July 2017 by our Contact Office to all EOA Associations. New candidates for the EOA-EC will be elected during this meeting. See the list of nominees for a EOA-EC function.  For some of the EC members and me it will be the last EOA Congress as they are no longer eligible for re-election.
After lunch we all will depart by bus for a visit to the city of Copenhagen, and later by boat for a short trip.

Country Reports.
Please send a report about the local activities of your association over the past three years to the EOA Webmaster and he will publish your report on the EOA website.

Next EOA Congress.
If your member association is interested in hosting the next EOA Congress in April-May 2020, please send a message to Maria Hass at our Contact Office in Germany. (

Registration EOA Congress

Below is a link to a registration form on this website where you have the opportunity to register and book accommodation.
There is also a link to the provisional programme of the Congress.


Voting procedure.

I received questions about the voting procedure, concerning proxy votes.
The EOA Constitution (see our website by clicking on the blue navigation bar “Constitution”) says the following in article 5.9:

5.9.  Full member associations unable to have delegate representation at a General Session may authorise another full member association with delegate representation to vote on its behalf on agenda issues that may come before the House of Delegates. A letter from the full member association seeking representation, stating the name of the full member association that will serve as its representative, shall be submitted to the Executive Council prior to the commencement of the meeting.

This means if you, being a Full Member Association, are not able to attend the meeting of the House of Delegates, you’ll have the possibility to ask another Full Member Association to vote for you. You have to send a signed letter, to Maria Hass at our Contact Office before the meeting of the House of Delegates starts.

Other activities.

On Saturday 10 June 2017 I was invited to the 20th anniversary of ZvezaILCO Slovenia. It was an excellent, well organized, meeting where I met many representatives from neighbouring associations of Slovenia.
It was special for me to have discussions, exchange views and ideas regarding the situation in different countries in Europe during a workshop being led by Renate Battas, a stoma care nurse in Slovenia.

ECET Congress in Berlin
The Board of the European Council of Enterostomal Therapy invited me to attend their Congress in Berlin, Germany on 20 June 2017 where I gave a presentation on the work of EOA. Foto.  On Wednesday morning 21 June 2017, I took part in the so called “round table” meeting about the situation for ostomates in Europe.

It was nice to meet the President of ECET, Mrs. Gabriela Kroboth and many other stoma care nurses from all over Europe. I invited the President of ECET to attend our Congress in October 2017.

On behalf the EOA-EC I express the wish that all of you will come to our Congress and I hope to meet you there in October in Høje Taastrup, Denmark.

Best wishes,

Ria Smeijers,
Rijssen, the Netherlands.
13 July 2017


30 March 2017

Dear EOA members, dear friends.

On Saturday 18th March 2017, a delegation of EOA-EC had a very fruitful meeting with Henning Granslev, chairman of COPA Denmark, and I’m very pleased to announce that COPA will be the host association for the postponed 15th EOA Congress.

The dates for our Congress are from October 5th – 8th October 2017.

The Høje Taastrup Quality Hotel in Taastrup, near Copenhagen, Denmark.
From the Kastrup Airport it is only 20 minutes by train and from the Høje Taastrup railway station it is a short 3 minutes’ walk to the hotel.

The chosen theme for this Congress is: CARING – SHARING – SUPPORTING.

Because of the limited time until October, the EOA-EC, in co-operation with COPA, decided to shorten the programme by one day.  So, the Congress will be two days instead of the usual three days.

COPA will prepare a special website for the 15th Congress where participants and attendees will have the opportunity to register.
I encourage you to visit the EOA website on a regular basis as we will be posting regular updates about the Congress. 

Thursday evening 5th October we’ll start with a welcome dinner at the Congress Hotel.

Friday 6th October in the morning there will be the official opening of the Congress. After the opening, there will be an interesting programme for all our EOA members.  We will invite speakers to deliver lectures and there will be also interesting news from the Ostomy Associations in Africa.

On the morning of Saturday 7th October there will be a special meeting for the 20/40 Focus Group at the Congress Hotel.  I make a request to all EOA members ……  please send some young people to the EOA Congress because it is very important for them to meet and talk with people of the same age and interests.

Also on the morning of Saturday 7th October we will have a meeting of the “House of Delegates”, the election of a new President, and the election of new members of the EOA-EC. 

After lunch COPA will organise a sightseeing tour to Copenhagen.

Sunday 8th October will be departure day when we all return home!

Dear EOA Members, COPA and its chairman Henning Granslev, and the organising committee of EOA-EC will do their utmost to arrange an interesting and entertaining EOA Congress in October.
I hope I may welcome all of you to Denmark and have the opportunity to meet and chat to you. 

I wish you all good luck with your efforts for the ostomates in your country.

Best wishes and greetings from the Netherlands.

Ria Smeijers
President of EOA

Rijssen, the Netherlands.
30th March 2017

20 November 2016

Dear EOA members, dear friends.

On 9th of February 2017 till the 11th of February 2017 the EOA-EC has had an extra meeting in London. This meeting was necessary due to the postponement of the EOA Congress 2017.

During this meeting the EOA-EC decided to organize a new Congress in Denmark. The venue will be at the Quality Hotel Høje, Taastrup.
The dates are from Thursday the 5th of October 2017 till Sunday the 8th of October 2017.

The Danish Association COPA and EOA-EC are already busy to compose an, for everybody attractive, progamme.
More details will follow as soon as possible. Keep an eye on this website.

Note this dates in your agenda.


17 November 2016

Dear EOA members, dear friends.

As I write this message it is cold and rainy, in short gloomy weather, in the Netherlands.
The year 2016 is nearly history and it is timely to let you know what’s going on in EOA and about our next EOA Congress in 2017.

EOA Executive Council (EC) 7-9 October 2016.
The yearly EC meeting was this time organised by Jón Thorkelsson, our EOA treasurer in Reykjavik, Iceland. During our stay in Iceland the EOA-EC was invited for to a meeting with the members of ISILCO. It was fortuitous that the monthly meeting of ISILCO coincided with the EOA-EC meeting, affording members of the EOA-EC the opportunity to meet with the members – a memorable occasion!

News from our EOA members.

Nordic meeting.

In August 2016 the Nordic meeting took place in Denmark and a report of this meeting has been published on this website. A grant from the Prof. Dr. Gerhard Englert Fund made it possible to invite one member from Estonia and two members from Lithuania to this meeting.

With joy I inform you of the new Kosovo Ostomy Association – KOA.
Mrs. Arta Uka is the founder of KOA and she is implementing a project named “Supporting Ostomates in Kosovo”. She will tell us more about this project at the Congress in 2017.

Country reports.
We’re asking all our member associations to send us a country report on the activities of the past three years and we hope you will help us by sending your reports as soon as possible to the EOA Webmaster who will publish your contribution on the website. 

World Ostomy Day (WOD).
The next WOD will be on October 6th 2018.

EOA Congress 2020.
If you would wish to be considered as a host for the Congress in 2020, please send a message to Maria Hasz at our contact office in Germany.
If you have any questions and/or remarks, please don’t hesitate and send me an e-mail.

Best wishes to all of you and good luck with all your efforts for the ostomates in your country.

Ria Smeijers.
Rijssen, The Netherlands.
November 2016.

2 June 2016.

Dear EOA Members, dear friends,

First of all: greetings to all of you from a sunny Netherlands. I hope you’re well.
I would like to advise you of the latest developments in EOA.

  1. EOA Congress 2017
    It is a pleasure to announce the next EOA Congress will take place on 17th May 2017 (arrival day) till 21st May 2017 (departure day).  The Dutch Ostomy Association has decided that the Congress will be in The Hague.  The Hague is the city where the Dutch Parliament and the Peace Palace is housed. The Hague is easily reachable by train from Amsterdam Airport, Schiphol.  Further information will be published on this website when available.  The EOA-EC expects many of you will attend this Congress to be inspired for your work for ostomates in your country.

  2. Belgium
    The regional groups in Flanders decided together to establish a national association. This association is named StomaVlaanderen.  
    The website is, and contact information can be found on the EOA website. We wish the President and the board of the new association good luck and lots of success.

  3. Russia
    We received good news from the President of ASTOM Moscow, Viatcheslav Sukhanov, that ASTOM Moscow has been promoted by the Government to be the National Ostomy and Incontinent Patients ASTOM Association of Russia.  Congratulations to Slava and his Board.

  4. United Kingdom – IA
    IA (the Ileostomy & Internal Pouch Support Group), invited me for the celebration of their 60th anniversary on 16th April. It was a well organised meeting and it was nice to see so many old and new friends. On behalf of all the EOA members I congratulate the board of IA on this special anniversary. A more extensive report can be found on this website if you click on “What’s Happening”

  5. New Secretary IA
    Anne Demick, National Secretary of IA, decided to retire. The new Secretary is Jackie King and we wish Jackie and her staff good luck.

  6. Lions for Stoma Care
    Dr, Carlo Pezcoller from Italy and Dr. Harikesh Buch from India, have informed us about the new website of their organisation. If you are interested in the projects concerning training for surgeons and stoma nurses, please have a look at

  7. Congress WCET South Africa
    In March 2016 ET’s from all over the world visited Cape Town for their World Congress.  The Chair of IOA (International Ostomy Association), Mr. Barry Maughan, represented the EOA on this occasion.  Marie Steen from ILKO Sweden and Lizzie Moyo the President of the Ostomy Association in Zimbabwe – Zimtrust - gave a presentation about the collaboration between these two countries.  A report about this can be found on the EOA website (click on “What’s Happening”), together with a PowerPoint presentation by Lizzie Moyo and a QuickTime movie prepared by our webmaster.

  8. Greece
    Good news from Greece: Mr. Andreas Fridakis from Athens opened the following facebook account which will become the first channel for exchange of experiences, informal help desk and base for the establishment of the Greek Ostomy Association:

 If you have interesting information about what is going on in your association, or if you have any question, please let me know.
If there are any changes in the contact information, e.g. new president, address, telephone number, change website address or e-mail address, please inform Maria Hasz at our contact office in Germany,

Best wishes to all of you and good luck with all your efforts for the ostomates in your country.

Ria Smeijers
Rijssen, the Netherlands
June 2016

29 April 2016.

Dear EOA Members, dear friends,

60th Anniversity of IA

During the weekend of 16 - 17 April 2016 IA (the Ileostomy and International Pouch Support Group) celebrated their 60th anniversity.

I was invited by the Board of IA to attend this special meeting in Hinkley, United Kingdom. It was very special for me to be together with more than 200 ileostoma patients, members of IA.

On Saturday morning 16th April, Professor Neil Mortensen, National President of IA, opened the meeting with a warm speech. "Looking Back- Moving Forward" was the theme for this National Meeting.
The program presented us with a lot of very interesting lectures:

  • Advances in Endoscopy for IBD, by Dr. James East, gastroenterologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford
  • The vital role of stoma care nurses in research and development, by Mrs Angie Perrin, Clinical Lead, Researchand Development from Salts Healthcare.
  • The story of my life, by Mrs. Prisk, about her surgery 60 years ago and her life being a young stoma patient.
    This moving story was very touching and emotional for me and all the paticipants.

During the meeting there was a lot of time for the members of IA to discuss the proposals concerning a new structure of IA. It was very interesting to hear the different opinions of the members about the suggested proposals.

It was nice to meet Jacky King, the successor of Anne Demick. Jacky is the new National Secretary of IA. As you probably know Anne Demick is retired of this position, but she is now elected as Chairman of the Executive Committee (EC) of IA.

The next day, during the morning programme I had the opportunity to congratulate the IA with the 60th anniversity on behald of the EOA-EC and all our 42 member associations.

To remember thisAnniversary and to motivate the IA in the future I presented on behalf of EOA a little bronze sculpture, named "Join Hands Together".
Thanks to the Board of IA for inviting me to this well organized meeting of the National Council

I wish IA all the best for the future.

Best wishes,
Ria Smeijers
President EOA

The Netherlands, April 2016

The audience

Photo by ©Kes Klare

Ria Smeijers presenting the EOA gift.

Photo by ©Cepta Burke

15 June 2015.

Dear EOA Members, dear friends,


It has been too long since I wrote a President’s Message for our website.  As I look out the window I see the beautiful summer weather, but alas, I need to stay inside and do some work!

Time flies ….. and in about four months, on 3rd of October, we’ll celebrate World Ostomy Day (WOD) 2015.  This is a special day for all of us as it draws attention to the needs of ostomy patients in your own country and worldwide also.

I’m sure at this moment a lot of the EOA Associations are very busy preparing events, meetings and other activities for WOD 2015.  For your information, the WOD logo is available for the exclusive use of all EOA and IOA member associations and can be downloaded from the EOA website.

“Many Stories, One Voice” is the theme for this worldwide event on 3rd October 2015.  The first contribution for our website concerning WOD came from the President of the Ostomy Association Bosnia and Hercegovina, Dragan Trivun.  It is a very special story about a little girl named Nadja Turudija, one of the youngest members of the Association.  It’s about the efforts of the inhabitants of the city of Prijedor to help this little girl.  This story of Nadja touched me very much. Please have a look on the special WOD page on our website.

News from the EOA associations.

I received wonderful news from Sweden. The ‘Cookbook for People with Other Exits’ has won the Bib Gourmand 2015 price for the best cookbook in the world. Congratulations for this great project.

I’m very pleased to inform you about a new member association in Moldova.  At this moment there are about 1,300 members since the association was established and it is still growing.  We wish the President Valentina Sandu and the Board good luck with all the efforts for the ostomates in Moldova. Other good news about Moldova is that NORILCO from Norway has promised to help to start up the Moldovian Association.


The Ukraine Ostomy Association has elected a new President. His name is Andriy Prus. We wish Andriy Prus and his Board good luck for the future.




At the beginning of March I received a phone call from Ghana to advise of the very sudden death of Roslyn Anderson, the chairwoman of the Ghana Ostomy Support Group. This is a great loss for her family and also for the Association.  As you’ll remember, the Director of the Dutch Ostomy Association (the twinning partner of Ghana) and I visited Roslyn last year and we met the members of the Ostomy Support Group.  During our visit we were amazed by the great job and enthusiasm Roslyn had for the ostomates in Ghana.  I hope…. NO, I’m sure ….. that the board members of the Ostomy Support Group will continue the good work Roslyn started.




12 September
ILCO AUSTRIA will celebrate the 40 year anniversary in Vienna, Austria.

1 October
ISILCO, Iceland will celebrate the birth 35 year ago in Reykjavik, Iceland

3 October
ILCO SWEDEN will take the opportunity to celebrate their 50th Anniversary and WOD on 3 October 2015 in Malmö.

News from the EOA-EC
This year our meeting will take place 10 and 11 October at our Contact Office in Bonn, Germany. If you have an important item for the agenda, please let me know.

Dear friends, “Many Stories, One Voice.” Is the slogan for WOD 2015.  It would be nice to hear from all of you about your activities, meetings and events that you are planning for WOD 2015.  Please send a short report, preferably in MS WORD (.doc) or plain text (.txt) of your WOD 2015 activities to our EOA webmaster (  Your contribution will be published on the special WOD page on our website. We’re looking forward, with interest, to receiving your reports.

If there are any changes in your association’s contact details, please send the new information to Maria Hass, Contact Office Deutsche ILCO (

I wish you all good luck with your efforts for the ostomates in your country and especially for World Ostomy Day 2015.

Best wishes,
Ria Smeijers
President EOA

The Netherlands, June 2015


11 December 2014.

Dear EOA Members, dear friends,

As I write this message, the year 2014 is nearly history!  It was a wonderful year and with pleasure I look back at what has happened.  It was great to meet so many of you in Krakow. Thanks to POL-ILKO for a very well organized Congress.

Anne Demick produced the minutes of the meeting of the House of Delegates in Krakow and a short report of the EOA congress.  Maria Hass from the contact office in Germany will send you these documents separately.

World Ostomy Day 2015
Next year we will celebrate World Ostomy Day (WOD) on Saturday 3 October.  The theme for this worldwide event will be “Many stories, One voice”.  Please have a look on our website on a regular basis for more information about WOD 2015.  Here you can find also the special WOD 2015 logo.  This logo is exclusively for the use of members of EOA to be used for their promotion of WOD 2015.

Activities of EOA member associations.

Stoma World Kenya celebrated an “Ostomy Awareness Day” on 11 October 2014. It was a great event with a lot of attendees.

Bosnia Herzegovina.
The first international reunion of representatives of patients with stomas from the area of former Yugoslavia was held on 10 & 11 October 2014 in Gradiska, Republic of Srpska.

The Nordic meeting for the board members of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland was organized this year by ISILCO from Iceland.  Jón Thorkelson, President of ISILCO, wrote a report about this interesting meeting.
Please take a look on our website for more information and photographs about all these events.   
Blue navigation bar on the left, click on “What’s Happening”.


News of EOA-EC.

After their re-election in Krakow, the first meeting of your EOA-EC board was held on 17 & 18 October in Gothenburg, Sweden to which a special guest, Dr. Leif Hultén, was also invited. Dr. Hultén is the successor of Professor Kock, who invented the Kock Pouch, and he knows a lot about this special technique and the problems experienced by people with a Kock Pouch in Europe. At the meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, The Dutch Ostomy Association presented a proposal for a project on Kock Pouch. Dr Hultén has agreed to be an adviser to this project. If there is more news about the start of this Kock Pouch project, I’ll advise you.




Visit Czech ILCO, Prague, November
"Life without Limits" - This is a EU project of Czech ILCO, Deutsche ILCO and Slovilco about the quality of life for ostomates. Pavel Kreml and Marie Redinova from Czech ILCO informed us about the provisional outcome of this project. In November 2014 the end results will be officially presented in Prague.” 

This is what was published on our website about the Congress in Krakow.  For me it was a great honour to be invited to the conference in Prague for the official presentation of the final report of this project.  The board of Czech ILCO did a great job in collaboration with SLOVILCO from Slovakia and Deutsche ILCO, Germany. I congratulate Marie Redinova on this very interesting report and the well-organized conference in Prague.
“A normal life” is what we all in our associations wish to achieve.  My sincerest wish is that this survey will be a huge contribution to that objective.

On behalf of the EOA-EC, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2015.

Good luck with all your efforts for the ostomates in your country.

Greetings from the Netherlands
Ria Smeijers.

29 May 2014.

Dear EOA members, dear friends,

"We have had to wait a long time, almost three years, but now we are together for the 14th EOA Congress in the beautiful city of Krakow."

With these words I opened our EOA Congress on Thursday 8 May 2014. The official opening took place in the Lecture Theatre of the Jagiellonian University, a 650 year old building. It was for me, and the EOA-EC, very nice to welcome so many delegates from 23 national Associations gathered from all over Europe, Middle East and North Africa.  Even guests from America and Mexico found their way to Krakow. 

After all the welcome speeches it was time to open the Congress officially.
I brought a bell with me to Poland.
This is a special bell. It is a heritage from the old IOA and was used to open many, many meetings and Congresses all over the world. On the stand you’ll read the names of all the presidents who served the IOA in the past, from the first one, Archie Vinitski in 1975, until the last one, Vladimir Kleinwächter in 2007.  The EOA-EC has decided to continue this nice tradition into the future, so, Andrzej Piwowarsky, President of POL-ILKO, rang this bell and I declared the 14th EOA Congress open.

A professional string quartet played some wonderful classical pieces of music as an extra dessert to this part of the meeting. Have a look on our special photo page Photo page 14th EOA Congress Krakow 2014 

It is also a nice tradition that every EOA Congress is started by a so called "Medical Day" organized by the host Association. POL-ILKO invited some outstanding speakers whose lectures informed us about the care for ostomates in Poland.  The first day ended with a gala dinner at the famous Wierzynek Restaurant in the Main Market Square of Krakow.
On Friday 9 May the Congress continued at the Conference Centre of the Medical University with the opening of the exhibition of the companies. 

Presentations by the companies.

Presentations were given by, Dansac/Hollister, Coloplast, Convatec, Braun and Welland.

"Life without Limits"
This is a EU project of Czech ILCO, Deutsche ILCO and Slovilco about the quality of life for ostomates. Pavel Kreml and Marie Redinova from Czech ILCO informed us about the provisional outcome of this project. In November 2014 the end results will be officially presented in Prague. 

"Kock Pouch, a forgotten group"

Two speakers, Marie Steen, ILCO Sweden (in co-operation with Dr. Leif Hulten) and Alison Crawshaw, stoma nurse specialist from the United Kingdom, made presentations about this interesting issue. EOA-EC will try to put this item about the forgotten group of stoma patients on the agenda of the surgeons. 

"Cookbook for people with other exits."
Johanna Albert and Maria Gylfe from the Danderyd University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden informed us about this book which was made in co-operation with ILCO Sweden.  The book is in Swedish and there is already an English version.  THE BOOK IS FREE!!! ….. if you want a copy, you will only be charged for the cost of sending.  You can find more information about this book and how to get one or more copies on our website at this link:
Cookbook for people with other exits

"Archie Vinitsky Award."
It was a big surprise when Ken Aukett, President of the Archie Vinitsky Award Committee, announced that Arne Holte, Past President EOA, had been honoured with this important Award. Because Arne was not present, the Award was handed to Thomas Nylund, President of NORILCO, Norway. On behalf of all the members of EOA I congratulated Arne on this well-deserved Award. 

"This is my Story."

Especially for our young delegates (the 20/40 Focus) we invited Ingrid Annette Hoff from Norway. Ingrid Annette told us about her life during and after her operation and presented the video "This is my story" which touched everybody, young and old. I saw a few tears here and there! 

"Lions for Ostomy Care"

The last lecture of the day was Dr. Carlo Pezcoller from Italy who told about the experiences in Africa and about the training for surgeons, nurses and patients in Kenya in 2013. This was an eye-opener and gave us all food for thought.

Meeting of the House of Delegates.
The meeting of the House of Delegates began with the election of the Association that will organize the next EOA Congress in 2017.  Only one Association was nominated so all votes went to The Netherlands.

The election of the new EOA-EC.

While there were no nominees for new EC members all the existing EC members, Jón Thorkelson, Iceland, Guiseppe de Salvo, Italy, Anne Demick, United Kingdom and Marie Steen, Sweden had been nominated by a number of Member Associations and were unanimously re-elected by the House of Delegates for the next period until 2017.
For me, it is a great honour the House of Delegates re-elected me as your President until 2017.  
My team and I are looking forward to continuing our work for EOA and our Member Associations. 
The minutes of the House of Delegates meeting will be posted on this website when they are completed and approved.

Salt Mines. 
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed a visit to the famous Salt Mine of Wieliczka and during surprise a dinner deep underground in a huge hall in the mine, the 14th EOA Congress was brought to a close.

We look back on a successful and inspiring EOA Congress.
Many thanks to the organizing committee of POL-ILKO, the President Andrzej Piwowarski and his team.
It is not easy to organize an international Congress, but they did a great job. Also many thanks to Abdo Abi Raad, from Lebanon, and Kes klare from the Netherlands for more than 2000 photos taken during the Congress. 
You can see a small selection on the special Photo page !4th EOA Congress Krakow 2014.

I received a lot of e-mails from attendees with compliments for the organizing committee. 

From the Netherlands I wish you all lots of success with your work for the ostomates in your country. 

Rijssen, the Netherlands, 29 May 2014 
Ria Smeijers.  

8 April 2014

Dear EOA members, dear friends,

As I’m writing this message, our EOA congress in Krakov, Poland, will be in a few weeks.
The organizing committee of POL-ILKO informed me many EOA Associations will send delegates to our congress. I’m very glad a lot of “youngsters” will join us in Krakov.

Report EOA-EC

To read  the “Report of EOA-EC to the House of Delegates”, concerning the period May 2011 – April 2014 CLICK HERE.
We’ll discuss this Report during the meeting of the House of Delegates.
The EOA-EC then will answer all your questions.

Country Reports

The EOA-webmaster received a few country reports. It is very important for me and the EOA-EC to stay informed about the activities of all the EOA Associations and the problems for ostomates in your country.
Please send your country report (2011 – 2014) as soon as possible to the EOA-webmaster.

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 75  ASTOM-RUSSIA.
We received this picture of the President of ASTOM-MOSKOW, Vyacheslav Sukhanov.
Vyacheslav was invited to the Paralympic Torch relay in Moscow.
In an accompanying email Vyacheslav wrote “it was a great honour for me and also for ASTOM”

Vyacheslav Sukhanov carrying the Olympic torch.


Visit to Ghana.
In March I travelled to Accra, Ghana for a visit to the Ghanaian Ostomy Support Group. Anne Braakman, the director of the Dutch Ostomy Association, accompanied me. The Dutch association is participating in a Twinning Project with Ghana.

We have had a meeting with the colorectal team of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra and of course with the board and members of the Ostomy Support Group.
It was great to see the progress of the Ghanaian Ostomy Support Group.
Roslyn Anderson, the Chair Woman/founder, did a great job.

Click HERE for a full report of our visit to Ghana.

Anne Braakman, Roslyn Anderson, Ria Smeijers

New Associations

In the past few weeks the EOA-EC received messages from Turkey about the establishment of a National Ostomy Association, the Ostomililer Association in Ankara.
In Africa a new association was also born in Cameroon. The EOA-EC shall keep you informed about the progress of new ostomy associations.

Nomination next EOA congress.

Is your association interested to organize the next congress in May 2017?
If your answer is “Yes” to this question, please send your nomination by e-mail to our contact office Deutsche ILCO attn. Maria Hass.
Dear friends I wish you a lot of success with all the efforts for the ostomates in your country.
I’m looking forward to meet you in Krakov.

Greetings from a sunny Netherlands,

Ria Smeijers.
April, 2014

28 January 2014

Dear EOA members, dear friends,


With pride and great joy I invite you all to our 14th EOA Congress in Krakow, Poland.

The EOA committee, in co-operation with the organizing committee of POL-ILKO, has prepared an interesting programme. I’m sure the lectures will inspire all participants of the Congress.

POL-ILKO have set up a special website, where you’ll find all the information about our Congress.  Type to go to this wonderful site.

The organizing committee has chosen the Wyspianski hotel just five minutes walk from the old and beautiful city center of Krakow.  You will find a link to this hotel on the Congress website.

About the program.

Thursday 8 May 2014
The official opening ceremony will take place on 8th May in a historic building of the Medical University of Krakow.
POL-ILKO have invited prominent surgeons and ET’s who will inform the attendees of the Congress about the care for ostomates in Poland.

Friday 9 May 2014

  • Do you want to know more about the EU project from Czech-ILCO, Slovilco and Deutsche ILCO?
  • And a lecture about “a forgotten group” the Kock pouch?
  • Are you interested about the situation of ostomates in Africa and the experiences of Dr. Carlo Pezcollar from Italy?
  • Do you want to know more about the “Cookbook for people with other exits”?

If your answer is “yes” to one or more of these questions, you have to be there on Friday 9th May!

Especially for our youngsters in the “20-40” age group, we have invited Ingrid Anette Hoff from Norway to give a presentation and show a video called “This is my story”.  I saw this video and Anette’s presentation earlier, and I must say it touched me.  Although the youngsters are especially invited to watch this presentation, it does not mean that the elder delegates are not welcome!  Highly recommended!

Talking about the “20/40” group, the EOA-EC sees this Congress as a “new start” for this age group.  We ask each EOA Association to send “youngsters” to the Congress as representatives for their country.  The most important reason for the “youngsters” to take part at our Congress is to meet others from the same age and situation and to exchange experiences which are relevant to their age.

Meeting House of Delegates.
After lunch we have planned the first part of the meeting of the House of Delegates.
The second part will take place on Saturday morning.
New candidates for the EOA-EC will be elected during this meeting.
You will receive the agenda and more information in March 2014.

Country reports.
Please send a report on the activities of your association from the past three years to the webmaster ( so he can publish them on our website.

Next EOA Congress.
Would you like to organize our next EOA Congress in 2017?
Please register your interest by sending an e-mail or letter to our contact office in Germany before 1st of April 2014.

As I wrote at the beginning, POL-ILKO have set up a wonderful website special for our Congress.  Visit this site ( where you have the opportunity to register, where you can find all information, the costs, where to go in Krakow, and so on.

On behalf of the EOA-EC I express the wish that all of you will come to Krakow.

I hope to meet you there in May and wish you all the best.

Ria Smeijers,
President European Ostomy Association.
Rijssen, The Netherlands
January 2014.

20 September 2013

Dear Members of EOA,

First of all greetings to all of you.
I hope you have been enjoying a good summer time.

In the last months I received, alarming information, concerning the cutting of budgets for appliances for ostomates in their country.
Governments and Health Authorities have, since the recent economic issues in Europe, been cutting budgets or plan to do so.
I have had a message from the President of the Ostomy Association in Poland, Sweden and Czech Republic.
Even in the Netherlands, there are problems with the Government and medical insurance companies, about the appliances for ostomates.

Member countries need to ensure they are advocating for ostomates and making sure they are being consulted.
We know, all ostomy appliances are different and choice is essential for us to lead a normal life.
"Let's Be Heard"was the slogan for World Ostomy Day in 2012.
I wish all our member Associations which have problems with appliances, good luck and a lot of courage to go on with advocacy, for all ostomates in their country.

After my last update, it is the highest time to inform you about the activities of EOA EC and our member Associations.

  • On April 9th, I was invited to Prague by, Marie Redinova, the President of Czech ILCO .
    During this meeting in Praque, the members of Czech ILCO, celebrated the fact they were the winners in Europe, of the Coloplast Award for all their activities on WOD 2012. A report of these activities you'll find on the EOA website.
    The second reason for my visit to Prague was the start of a new European Project "Life without limits".
    Czech ILCO will work together in this project with Deutsche ILCO and SLOVILKO.
    The aim of this EU project is, to find out what the differences are of "quality of life" for ostomates in these three European countries.

  • On the 19th. April ASTOM, Russia, celebrated its 20th. Anniversary in Moscow.
    A lot of ostomates from the Region Moscow and representatives from the Department of Social Protection and the Government, attended this meeting.

  • At the end of April ILCO Serbia, invited Boardmembers from the Ostomy Associations of Russia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia/Herzegovina
    for a meeting: "11 years of work of ILCO Serbia".

  • The Romanian Association organized from June 24th til July 1st a special meeting for youngsters – an EU project - called DOLLS. The participants: 25 young people aged 13 – 25 years, ostomates and some youngsters diagnosed with IBD, from Italy, Denmark, Serbia, Bosnia/Herzegovina and Romania.
    Here you can read more about this project.

  • On the 23th. June I travelled to Paris, to attend the congress of the ECET (the European Association for ET's/stoma care nurses).
    It was nice to be there and to meet a lot of stoma care nurses from different countries of Europe.
    On Monday 24th. I had the opportunity to give a lecture about EOA, our members, our goals and activities.

  • At the end of this month on 27th September I'll travel to Poland, to meet the Organizing Committee of POL-ILKO, to talk about their preparations of our next EOA Congress.
    The dates for the Congress are: 8 – 11 May 2014 in the historic and beautiful city of Krakow in Poland.
    Please note down these dates and follow our EOA website for more information.
    I'm looking forward to see all of you, next year in Krakow.
For more information about all our activities, please look at our EOA website:
Click on the left side on the blue navigation bar on "What's Happening".

The EOA EC will have their yearly meeting in Milan on 12th & 13th October.
If you have a question for the EC or an item for the agenda of this meeting, please let me know.

I wish you all the best with your work and activities, for the Ostomy Association and the ostomates in your country.

Greetings from the Netherlands,

Ria Smeijers, President European Ostomy Association.
Rijssen, NL 20th September 2013.

4 March 2013

Dear members of EOA, dear friends,

With us, here in the Netherlands, the winter is nearly over. The last snow in our garden is disappeared.
Spring is in the air!!
It is the highest time to inform you all about the latest developments in EOA.

EOA Congress 2014.
You saw the announcement already on the homepage.
The next EOA Congress will be held in 2014 on 8th to 11th May in Krakow, Poland and will be organized by POL-ILKO. The participants arrive on Wednesday 7th May and the departure will be on 11th May.
I can assure you, the President Andrzej Piwowarski and his organizing committee offer you an interesting and inspiring programme.
Note the above data in your agenda, so I can meet you all in the wonderful and historical city of Krakow.
Futher information will be posted on this website when available.

New associations in Africa.
With joy I inform you about the developments in Africa. Since I wrote the previous Presidents Message we welcome two new associations to the EOA.
  1. ILCO zimtrust in Harare, Zimbabwe. The Director is Mrs. Lizzie Moyo
  2. Ghana Ostomy Support Group, Accra, Ghana. Chairwoman is Mrs. Roslyn Anderson.

I will thank the Ostomy Associations from Sweden and the Netherlands for supporting these new associations.

Training for surgeons and nurses.
Training for surgeons and nurses was organized in the the District Hospital at Kisumi in Kenya from 11 till 16 February 2013. This training was co-organized by Dr. Carlo Pezcollar (Lions for stoma care) and Dr. Harikesh Buch from India. The President of ECET, Rosine van der Bulk was present.
We expect this training will be a great contribution to the quality of stoma-care in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

World Ostomy Day 2012 “Let’s be heard.
The winners of the competitions of the manufacturers are known now. These winners have been notified by the companies.
For more information have a look at, and
The Coloplast Merit Award.
From all the contributions for the Coloplast Merit Award is the European winner Czech ILCO. This Award will be presented soon to Marie Redinova, president of Czech ILCO. On behalf of the entire EOA-EC, I send congratulations to all prizewinners.

Announcement from our treasurer.
Dear friends!
The bills for the annual dues of 2013 have been sent out by e-mail and every organization should now have a bill with the amount to pay and the relevant banking information.
In fact nothing has changed since last year, the amount is the same and the banking information is the same. If some bills have gotten lost in the mail, as has happened in the past, or you have any other problems, please contact me as soon as possible. (

Attached to this Presidents Message you’ll find a letter from Jón Thorkelsson, treasurer of EOA, about the membership of all national associations in EOA.
Please, read this letter careful and send our treasurer the information he needs.
Click here for the letter from the treasurer

E-mail from Canada.
I received an email from Mr. Zoran Todorovic from Canada.
I copy this e-mail hereby, because I want to share this by all of you:

To whom it may concern.

Dear Sir/Madam.

My name is Zoran Todorovic.
It has been just little over a year since my Colon cancer operation here in London ,Ontario.

I did not know that even these organizations exist in Canada or any where in the world.
I like to let You know that as I was vacationing in Europe last year on the coast of Monte Negro, Serbia.
I was in desperate need to find the supply of ostomy bags as I was running low on them.

Surfing through the internet frantically I cannot believe my great fortune and luck to find out that in Serbia there were people who were willing to help.
I am so grateful to have met the president of Ostomy association in Serbia, Snezana Milojevic Smiljanic on the phone.
I thought I have discovered on angel. In short, after she heard my situation of running out of ostomy bags she selflessly without never new me or heard of me before, the next day shipped on the overnight bus supply of ostomy bags that kept me to the end of my holiday in Europe. I have no words to describe how overwhelmed with gratitude I was when I received a package from the bus driver. In fact there was not even the demand for payment or the bill with the package.
In my mind, to me at that time -That Lady's HEART was as big as Mother Theresas.
That was my experience with the Lady from Serbia called Snezana.
Just want to say :
for helping me when I needed them  the most.
Sincerely Yours
Zoran Todorovic

Compliments to Snezana!!!!!!
Do I have to say more?

Gerhard Englert fund.
As you probably know last year we established the “Prof. Dr. Gerhard Englert Fund”.
EOA received a gift for this fund from a Dutch lady. She collected money as present for her first birthday after she became an ostomate.
She is so thankful for the good care and sufficient appliances in the Netherlands, knowing that it is not so good in many parts of the world.

Eucomed Position Paper.
The Eucomed Ostomy Group is a cooperation of the most companies and suppliers of ostomy appliances.
The Eucomed Ostomy Group finalized and published its two ostomy papers regarding the ostomy supplies and innovation.
Please see these documents by clicking in the links below.
-          Eucomed Position Paper on Access to Ostomy Supplies and Innovation FINAL
-          Ostomy Background paper FINAL.
The content of these documents contains very interesting information about living with a stoma. These documents are sent to all decision makers of the European Union in Brussels.

Please, let me know if there are interesting developments in your association, so I can share this with the other readers of this website.
And last but not least, send your country report of 2012 to
I wish you all the best and good luck with your important work for the ostomates in your country.
Ria Smeijers.
Rijssen, the Netherlands
March 2013.

11 December 2012

Dear members of EOA, dear friends,

It is already the last month of 2012 and as I write this, the first snow falls in the Netherlands.
The highest time for an update of all the activities of recent months.

WOD 2012.

World Ostomy Day 2012 is extensively celebrated and the theme "Let's be heard" is fully used.
A lot of EOA associations in Europe and even in Africa celebrated this day. There were meetings, TV appearances, demonstrations, articles in newspapers etc.
Too many to mention.
On the WOD page on this website you can learn more about all activities of our EOA members.

On 6 October I was invited by FAIS Italy to celebrate WOD2012 in Montesilvano. The board of FAIS had chosen to give special attention to young ostomates and their problems.
This meeting was special, because the stoma nurses had their congress in the same conference center. In the evening there was a shared gala dinner.
With many impressions I returned to the Netherlands.
Visit to the European Parliament.

On 10 October I was in Brussels invited for a meeting with a delegation of European parliamentarians. A wonderful experience to walk around there in the throbbing heart of Europe.

I was welcomed by two MPs from the Christian Democrats and the Socialist Party. Then I got the opportunity to give a presentation on the stoma care in Europe. It is good to know that there is still much room for improvement in the care of stoma patients in the different EU countries.

In the coming years, according to the MPs, the EU have to look at the appliances file. It is essential for the EOA to have already some contacts within the EU, where necessary, to take action.

Meeting EOA-EC

On the weekend of 9 November the EOA-EC have had a meeting in the Netherlands.
We talked about all developments in EOA, in particular the creation of new associations in Africa, such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Ghana.
Also Eastern Europe and the Middle East have our attention. There have been contacts with Moldova, where, with much help from Romanian Ostomy Association and ASTOM-Moscow, a stoma association was founded. There are already 700 members.

Retirement of Professor Dr. Gerhard Englert

On 17 November, Gerhard Englert, President of the Deutsche ILCO, vacated his chair.
After more than 37 years, now he is retired.
We thank Gerhard for his outstandig voluntary work on national and international level for ostomates and people with colon cancer. He received the highest award of Deutsche ILCO: The “Dr. Konrad Arnold-Medal” is named after the person who had founded Deutsche ILCO 40 years ago.
We wish Gerhard and his wife Helga, all the best for the future.

The new chairman of Deutsche ILCO is Mr. Dieter Gutschick.
We wish Mr. Gutschick every success with his new job.

EU project.

I received a message from Marie Redinova, President Czech ILCO, about “Life without Limits” a project cooperation between Deutsche ILCO, Slovilco, and Czech ILCO. The purpose is to investigate the differences between these countries concerning the stoma care. Also the possibility for ostomates to find a job.
In my opinion this is an important survey and we expect the results will be available by the end of 2014.

EOA Congress 2014.

The organizing committee is already busy with the preparations for our congress in Krakow, Poland. The congress will be in May 2014, and as I know the exact date, I’ll inform you.

Finally, I wish you a Merry Christmas, a happy, prosperous, but above all, a healthy New Year.

Ria Smeijers.
Rijssen, the Netherlands
11 December 2012.

30 September 2012.

Dear members of EOA, dear friends,

In the Netherlands summer is gone already. Days are grey and it is drizzling at the moment of writing this.

But that means it is the highest time to inform you all about the ins and outs of EOA.

Just a few days to go and it is World Ostomy Day 2012.
It is a busy time for most of you to organize all activities and meetings for the 6th of October or somewhere around this date
Nordic meeting.
In August I was invited to the Nordic meeting in Trondheim, Norway. This meeting is organized every two years by the boards of Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Denmark and Norway. The members of these boards share their plans for the future and meet each other. This is an extraordinary event in Europe and it was a privilege for me to open this meeting.

Archie Vinitsky Award.
On August 18, 2012 in Canada during the United Ostomy Association of Canada, UOAC conference in Toronto, Barry Maughan IOA-CC chairman presented the Archie Vinitsky Award to the last President of IOA, Di Bracken.
This Archie Vinitsky Award is presented to a person, who has given the most outstanding voluntary service at international and regional level in support of activities of IOA.
On behalf of all our EOA members I sent congratulations to Di Bracken.

Donation COPA Denmark.
The EOA received a financial donation from COPA Denmark. This donation is a part of the profit made by COPA concerning the 60th year celebration in 2011. I wrote a ‘thank-you’ message to COPA. We promise we will spend this generous gift very careful.

New association in Africa.
With proud I inform you about establishment of a new association in Kenya.
 This association is called Stoma World Kenya and is based in Nairobi. There are already 167 members and the association is still growing. We wish the chairman Mr. T.S. Devgun and the Board all the success and good luck.

World Ostomy Day 2012.
“Let’s be Heard”.  In 1993 Professor Dr. Gerhard Englert proposed the idea to organize a so called World Ostomy Day. The aim was to draw attention for people with a stoma and pouch, their quality of life, on regional, national and international level. In the beginning of October many associations in the whole world organize activities and meetings. This year we celebrate the World Ostomy Day for the 7th time. If you want to know more about this great events have a look on our website.
On the website of IOA you can read about the special WOD activities offered by Coloplast, Convatec and Hollister.
I am invited by FAIS, Italy to attend their WOD 2012 gathering in Montesilvano.
I will bring your greetings and best wishes to our Italian friends.

European Parliament.
In my previous message from 10 July (see below) I informed you about my meeting with Eucomed. As a spin-off of this meeting I received an invitation from the European Parliament for a meeting in Brussels on 10 October. I will meet some Euro policy makers with “Health Care” in their portfolio. This is a great opportunity to tell these politicians about the life and needs of all ostomates in Europe.
I will put our theme “Let’s be Heard” into practice!

EOA-EC Meeting.
The EOA-EC will have their next meeting on 10 – 11 November 2012 in Haarlem,
The Netherlands.
If your association want to put an item on the agenda, please let me know as soon as possible.
I wish you all the best with your work for your association and the ostomates in your country.

And above all: “Let’s be Heard!”

Ria Smeijers.
Rijssen, the Netherlands
30 September 2012.

10 July 2012

Dear members of EOA, dear friends,

There has been happened a lot in the past months and I like to inform you about

Visit to ILCO Serbia

In April I was invited by the President of ILCO Serbia, Snezana Cmiljanic-Miljojevic, for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Serbian association. It was good to be there, together with the presidents of Romania, Poland, Slovenia and Czech Republic. Highlights of this visit were a reception at the cityhall of Belgrade by dignitaries, an interview on national TV, were Snezana and I the needs of the Serbian ostomates brought to attention.
Click here for some photo's.

Visit to Poland.

In May our Treasurer Jón Thorkelsson and I visited POLILKO, Poland the first time in connection with the next EOA Congress in 2014 in Krakow. Together with the organizing committee of Pol ILKO and the president Andrzej Piwowarski, we looked to different hotels, suitable venues and so on. I keep you informed.

Anniversary Deutsche ILCO.

In June I was invited by the Deutsche ILCO for their celebration of the 40Th birthday of the association. More than 400 members and guests came together at the Alte Kongreshalle in Munich to celebrate this special event. Deutsche ILCO invited all their neighbours, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Luxemburg, Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands. Even Professor Yuriy Lozinsky from Ukraine was there. It was a pity France was unable to come. In my speech I brought the congratulations of all the EOA members to Deutsche ILCO and I thanked them, in particular Gerhard Englert for the efforts for years for the EOA, providing our contact office and the work Maria Hass do for us.


The EOA-EC decided to establish a fund. This fund is a tribute to Gerhard Englert for his work for th EOA.
During the congress I presented Gerhard Englert a Charter with the following text:

On 12th November 2011, the EOA-EC decided to establish a fund.
The main purpose of this fund is to invite new associations to meetings or congresses,
give assistance and provide advice in the establishment of new associations
in Europe the Middle East and Africa.
As a tribute to his dedication and commitment to care of ostomates in the world,
especially in Europe the EOA-EC decided to call this fund:

Professor Dr. Gerhard Englert Fund

London November 12, 2011

Ria Smeijers
President EOA

Gerhard Englert was very surprised by this gesture of EOA.
Click here for some photo's.

Economy measure on deodorants for ostomates.

The presidents of Slovenia, Jan Cacko and Czech Republic, Marie Redinova informed me about the economy measures on deodorants for ostomates. I have sent a letter to the Disability Forum and to the members of the Borderline Committee of the European Union in Brussels to express our worries about these measures.

Meeting with Eucomed

On June 26th. I have had a meeting in Amsterdam, with two delegates of Eucomed, Mr. Klaus Grunau, Hollister and Mr. Joseph Rolley, Convatec.
It was a good and informative discussion and they informed me about the activities of Eucomed on European level.
Eucomed represents the medical technology industry in Europe, the manufacturers and suppliers of medical technology.
Mr. Grunau and Mr. Rolley believed it is important to inform the Governments, the healthcare insurance companies and the policymakers in the European Union, about the care for ostomates in the member countries.
The knowledge about ostomy care is incomplete in the European Union.
Eucomed shall invite me for a meeting in Brussels in Octobre together with the President from the ECET to talk about this item.

World Ostomy Day

"Lets be heard"

We received the program from FAIS Italy. For more information click on this link: World Ostomy Day 2012 page on this website. I know a lot of associations are rather busy with the preparations. At the end of July I hope to give you more information about the activities for WOD prepared by Coloplast, ConvaTec and Hollister. I wish you lots of success with your preparations for WOD 2012. If your plans are ready send them to our webmaster, so he can publish them on our special web page on this site. It looks like being a wonderful day!

I wish you all the best with your work for your association and the ostomates in your country.

Rijssen, the Netherlands
Ria Smeijers
10 July 2012

22 April 2012

Dear members of EOA, dear friends,

It is time to inform you about what’s happened in the last months in EOA.

New association

We received good news from Tunisia. In Tunisia new association is established. The President is Mrs. Gohfran Ezzine, she is an ostomate and she launched a really professional website. For more information have a look at
This website is only  in the French language.

I will send a well meaning thanks to Abdo Abi Raad President of the Lebanese Ostomy Association and to Naguib El Nikhaily, President of the Egypt Ostomy Association for their help and support to Tunisia.

We wish Mrs. Ezzine and the board of the new association lots of success with all the activities for the ostomates in Tunisia.

Progress in Africa.

Recently in Ethiopia is a new association established. President is Mr. Aberra Woldik-Sadik.
At the moment Dr. Carlo Pezcollar from Lions for Ostomates, FAIS Italy, Arne Holte, past president EOA and Guiseppe de Salvo, vice president EOA confer on the further steps to be taken to improve the care for ostomates in Ethiopia.
We hope it will be possible to organize training for specialists, surgeons and nurses in Addis Abeba.

EOA member Marie Steen and a team from Sweden have visited Zimbabwe where in the future will a new association will also be established.

The President of the Ghana Support Group, Mrs. Roslyn Anderson, informed us about the progress of the support group in Ghana. There are also contacts between the support group and doctors and surgeons. 

WOD 2012  “Lets be heard”

In just five months time, on 6 October 2012, it will be World Ostomy Day with the theme "Lets be heard".
We need to make our voices heard to ensure "Quality of life" for all ostomates in all regions and countries throughout the world.

I know many associations are fully occupied with the preparations for World Ostomy Day.
Please, inform us about your plans and activities. Send your program for WOD to the webmaster. He will publish your program on our website.
Your activities can be inspiring and encourage others what to do on WOD.

Soon Coloplast will send us information about the Merit Award.

Hollister promised to run the Photo Competition, as they did in the past.
For more information have a look at this website.

20/40 Focus.

Last February EOA Treasurer, Jón Thorkelsson, Thomas Nylund from Norway and Isabella Grosu from Romania have had training organized by the European Union. They now have more insight about how to involve more youngsters to work for an association.

Poster. “Life is what you make of it. We can work wonders”.

It was a big surprise to receive a large poster with pictures of sporty ostomates from all over Europe.
In collaboration between Isabella in Romania, and Jón in Iceland, this poster was made.
The poster has been sent to all EOA associations and can be used at meetings and other activities of the national associations.
Thanks to Romania and Iceland for this wonderful project.


I wish you, on behalf of the EOA-EC, all the best and good luck with all your activities for WOD 2012 and for the ostomates in your country.
Greetings from the Netherlands, where the tulips are blooming now.

Ria Smeijers
President EOA
April 20th, 2012

15 December 2011

Dear members of EOA, dear friends,

Time flies and it's almost the end of 2011.
A lot has happened in the past year.
Right now it's been over one year ago, in Frankfurt the last IOA conference was organized.

During this conference the decision was taken the three regions (ASPOA, OAA and EOA) continue as autonomous associations.

A big change, but a good thing, because from that moment on the EOA has more possibilities and financial resources for what need our attention in our own region.

Also there are activities being setup in the Middle East and North Africa. You can read about this on our website what is happening in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Ghana.

EOA congress in Lviv.

With great pleasure and fond memories we look back at the EOA congress in Ukraine.
ASTOM did a very good job of hosting this conference.
Thanks for all the efforts of Professor Lozynsky and his team at ASTOM.
During the meeting in London the EOA-EC decided the next conference in 2014 will be in the beautiful city of Krakow in Poland.

World Ostomy Day October 6, 2012.

Even though EOA nowadays is an autonomous region, there are good contacts with the other two regions. Together we will celebrate WOD 2012.
EOA (Anne Demick and myself) is responsible for the coordination of this day.
We do this together with the President of the ASPOA Barry Maughan and IOA webmaster Ronaldo Lora.

Theme and Logo WOD

After intensive discussion it was decided to choose the theme of WOD 2012:


As ostomates, we live in different countries, we have different cultures, we have different histories, have different problems, but ...... we have only one message:
"We want quality of life."
That means quality of life for all ostomates in all regions and all countries of the world.
Our mission is to raise all our problems to surgeons, doctors, nurses, governments, health insurers and manufacturers of ostomy materials.
I'm sure that World Ostomy Day 2012 will be a great success, and I wish all of you good luck with your preparations for the October 6, 2012.

The WOD logo.

Here's the new logo for World Ostomy Day.

Regularly check our EOA website for more information on all WOD activities.

Finally, I wish you all, on behalf of the EC-members, Giuseppe de Salvo, Anne Demick, Jón Thorkelsson, Marie Steen and Kes Klare, the webmaster, Merry Christmas and a prosperous and above all a healthy New Year.

Rijssen, the Netherlands, December 15, 2011
Ria Smeijers,

27 November 2011

Hello friends all over Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

In the weekend of 11 - 12 November the EOA-EC had their first meeting in London.
I must say, it was a very nice and fruitful meeting and above all to meet EC members again.

We discussed several issues.
During the congress in Lviv, two countries were nominated to organise the next EOA congress in 2014. After extensive discussions the EOA-EC decided the 2014 EOA congress will be in Poland.
After consulting the president of POL-ILCO we choosed for the beautiful city of Kraków.

Jón Thorkelsson, our treasurer, reported all financial procedurers with the bank in Switzerland are solved now. And the happy message is most EOA associations have payed the 2010 dues. If your association has not payed the dues for 2011, please do so.

World Ostomy Day will be on the 6th of October 2012.
Anne Demick and I are busy to start-up the World Ostomy Day activities.
In London we have had very vauable meetings with two manufacturers about their ideas about sponsoring WOD 2012.
Soon I will inform you about the theme and the new logo for World Ostomy Day 2012.

Marie Steen informed us about her findings and developments in Zimbabwe.
Swedish ILCO have started a twinning project with ILCO Zimbabwe.
They started an ostomy organisation in january 2010 and ILCO Sweden give them support.

Guiseppe de Salvo told us about the trip he made together with Arne Holte to Ethiopia.
A comprehensive report is HERE.



Being in London, I used the opportunity to meet Roslyn Anderson. She lives in London, but after her retirement she will move to Ghana. I came in contact with her via Di Bracken.
Roslyn started a support group for ostomates in Ghana.

Click HERE for more information about the Ghana Ostomy Support Group




I wish you all the best with your work for your association and the ostomates in your country.

Ria Smeijers, President EOA
Rijssen, The Netherlands.

8 Oktober 2011

Hello friends all over Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

It has been a bit silent the past few months, but that does not say nothing has happened.
ECET Congress, Italy.

In June I was invited to the ECET congress in Bologna, Italy. I met a lot of interesting and important people, ET’s and manufacturers, for our work on EOA level.


Also in June the treasurer ship is official transferred to Jón Thorkelsson in Iceland. Jón said: “It is with proud, I saw most of the Associations paid their dues for 2011.”
Thank you very much for doing so.

COPA Denmark.

In September I was invited by COPA, the Danish Ostomy Association, to celebrate their 60th year anniversary. COPA is the first, and the oldest ostomy association in the world. It was nice to see a delegation of the Odessa, Ukraine Association, the twinning partner of COPA and delegations of the Nordic Associations.
Our webmaster placed a few photo’s on this website from this event.

World Ostomy Day 2012.

We started the preparations for World Ostomy Day 2012. Barry Maughn from New Zealand, Anne Demick from the UK and I are the organizing committee.
We will inform you about the theme for WOD 2012 as soon as possible.
The date of World Ostomy Day is fixed on 6th October 2012.

EOA Congress 2014.

Two associations, Iceland and Poland, offering the next EOA congress in 2014. At the first meeting on 12 – 13 November in London, the EOA-EC will decide which country shall organize the congress,


In September Arne Holte and Guiseppe de Salvo travelled to Ethiopia. We hope a new association will be founded there in the future.
To read the report of this trip to Ethiopia HERE.

EOA-EC Meeting.

The EOA-EC will have their first meeting on 12 – 13 November 2011 in London.
If your association want to put an item on the agenda, please let me know as soon as possible.

I wish you all the best with your work for your association and the ostomates in your country.

Ria Smeijers, President EOA.
Rijssen, the Netherlands
8 October 2011.


17 May 2011

Dear friends,

On the 7th of May 2011 the House of Delegates elected me as the new President of the European Ostomy Association.

It is a great honour for me and I will do my utmost best to put the interest of ostomates on the map.
To ensure a better qualitative care for people with a stoma, in all European countries, including Eastern Europe, The Middle East and Northern Africa.

The House of Delegates, have chosen a great team.
Anne Demick from Great Britain, Marie Steen from Sweden, Guiseppe da Salvo from Italy and last but no least Jon Thorkelsson from Iceland.
I am proud to be given the opportunity to work with the new EC.

Just like me, most of you know, what it means to live with a stoma, with appliances.
To arise from a life-threatening situation, we have learned to live again.
We have been given a second chance. It was a difficult, a hard and a long way, but we now have “anormal life”.
And that’s what we, as European Ostomy Association, aim for: “A NORMAL LIFE FOR ALL OSTOMATES”.

I am convinced, that ostomates can make a difference, by co-operating on a national and international level, not restricted by any boundaries.
We can use our influence, more than we imagine, to increase the care for ostomates.

WE KNOW.....What is involved when we talk about quality of stoma-care.

WE KNOW.....That Ostomates cannot live without appliances.

WE KNOW.....About the necessity of after-care and psychosocial care

WE KNOW.....That contact between ostomates and organising meetings help patients to learn how to live with a stoma, to regain a full and normal life.



Rijssen, The Netherlands, 17 May 2011
Ria Smeijers, President EOA


13 May 2011

Message from the Past-President

Dear all EOA associations, friends and colleagues!

As most of you will know my two periods as president of EOA came to an end at the EOA Congress in Lviv in Ukraine a few days ago.

I want with this letter to say thank you for seven great years where the cooperation with the EOA organizations has been the very best.  
I also wish to thank the EOA Coordinating Committee - including appointed persons to the CC and Maria Hass at the EOA contact office.
Thank you to all of you for your support and also for many fine meetings with hard work, but also much fun.

The new president of EOA is Ria Smeijers from The Dutch Ostomy Association.
I wish her, her team and all of you the very best working for the best quality of life for ostomates in Europe, The Middle East and also some places in Africa.

I have been so lucky to visit some of you, which always have given me good feelings to bring home – and also inspiration to go on working.
I hope to meet many of you also in the future.

Kristiansand, Norway May 12, 2011
Arne Holte, past president EOA.