ASTOM Russia in times of COVID-19

Activities of the National Association of Ostomy Patients of Russia ASTOM during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought many changes. It has forced us all to find new ways of working, interacting and living. But ASTOM has never stopped its activities within the whole period of lock-down as well as in the post-quarantine period.

Covid-19 has set us unprecedented challenges and disrupted a lot of plans. Thankfully none of the board members and activists have contracted this insidious virus.

During this time of fear and uncertainty, the willingness to return to normal life has only strengthened.

We have won 2 grants one of the Mayor of Moscow and another of the President of Russia. ASTOM has been using both grants to support social rehabilitation of ostomy patients. In the beginning of the pandemic in spring when the quarantine was very strict, we had to use internet resources to communicate with patients, their families and medical specialists. In collaboration with ConvaTec we conducted 14 webinars devoted to challenges and problems that ostomy patients and their relatives encounter after the operation and later such as legal matters related to the patients’ way in the rehabilitation and reimbursement system, right care routine and managing complications, psychological issues and dietary advice. You can find the webinars in Youtube.

President of the ASTOM Vyacheslav Sukhanov continued to maintain contacts with government authorities and decision makers of all levels taking part in virtual meetings on reimbursement issues. We along with government officials and manufactures are supervising supply of ostomy patients with ostomy appliances and trying to solve individual issues that patients are facing and respond to their specific needs.

Moreover, Vyacheslav Sukhanov chairs a subcommittee on standardization of ostomy and continence care products under the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia. The subcommittee coordinates development and update of standards for ostomy and continence care products.  Leading manufactures participate in the process as well. Within the last two years the subcommittee has developed 21 new standards and 5 of them have been developed or finalized during the lock-down. When the pandemic situation improved, the lock-down lifted taking adequate safety measures and sanitary precautions, we congratulated the 2nd World War veterans with the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazism. The action was supported by Coloplast, ConvaTec and Paul Hartmann. You can find details on the ASTOM website.

If you are interested to learn more about us, our activities and plans you are welcome to visit our site and and ostomy patients’ forum. Over 6000 patients are registered in the forum.

And we are proud of our consultation service here and here and it has proved to be  an effective way of providing essential primary care, making initial diagnoses and helping patients to cope with skin disorders or directing them to emergency care  especially in a time of the lock-down and quarantine.  Consultations are provided by leading medical specialists.

Finally, we have also developed and officially launched into production, together with a domestic manufacturer, a new interesting product for ostomy patients – a hygiene bag. Watch a video about the use of this product here. These hygiene bags have already been bought from us in Turkey for ostomy patients. All information about the product in English here.

Please continue to keep each other as well as your loved ones safe.

ASTOM’s president Viacheslav Sukhanov