When we were together in Copenhagen last year there was a lot of discussion about EOA talking with European Union authorities in Brussels and even more large organizations such as the Red Cross and World Health Organization. We in EOA made ourselves visible at an Open Day in the Parliament of EU in Brussels at the beginning of December 2017. Two delegates from EOA were invited to take part in discussions there and they made EOA both seen and heard with a few questions that the EOA-EC together had prepared in advance. So far nothing concrete has come from this effort but we plan to try to do this again. If we go there often enough perhaps we will be heard in the end. If any of our member organizations have the possibility to get invited to this event they should perhaps try for that. The more in numbers we are there, the louder we can be.
World Ostomy Day, or WOD, is on our agenda this year. Here you can see both the logo and the theme for WOD which this year is dated on Saturday 6th October. I urge you all to make use of this event together with ostomates all over the world. It could be very helpful to the ostomy cause if every organization tries to make an event on their home ground and draw attention to our cause.
The theme used is an old truth in psychology; if you speak about your problem long enough it has the chance to be solved. It has never been easy for myself to follow this rule but when I became an ostomate in the fall of 1995 I made a decision to talk about this with anyone who was curious, anytime and anywhere. I think that I have followed this decision rather well with the consequence that my environment is well informed about the reasons why people become ostomates and the treatment for the relevant diseases and what appliances we need to use. As chairman of ISILCO I have also made it my business to have information available in our community, with good results as was shown by a survey we had made for us in 2015.
So let’s all join hands and make WOD a public celebration throughout EOA territory.
The EOA-EC has been talking about making a special effort to draw attention to our health and appliance issues. This effort will be explained in an e-mail to all organizations later on. We will need a little bit of help from every organization to make this possible. Hopefully, together we can make this work to the betterment of appliance and health care issues for ostomates.
Finally, but not least important, I must apologize for a mistake that I made in my first message as president in November last year. In that message I thanked the persons leaving the EOA-EC for their many years of good work for EOA and ostomates. But I forgot to mention one person and Giuseppe DeSalvo does not deserve to be forgotten. He has, like the others that I mentioned in my message, worked tirelessly for the ostomy cause for a long time. And most likely he will keep on doing so for quite a while. So Giuseppe, I am very sorry for this and thank you for all your hard work.
Best wishes from an unexpectedly warm Iceland,