THE FIRST WORLD Continence Day was announced in Cairo on 24 October, 2008 during the Continence Promotion Committee’s 2nd Public Forum. At the conclusion of the ICS Meeting in Cairo Egypt, the Continence Promotion Committee (CPC), in conjunction with the Pan Arab Continence Society (PACS), co-hosted this evening event to raise public awareness of bladder and bowel problems. The Forum received wide attention from the press and radio and mailings were carried out by patient organisations. It was extremely well attended, despite a washout from a major storm which rendered many of the roads impassible earlier that day. The approximately 370 attendees mainly included the general public – both men and women – but also some healthcare providers. Since the audience was mainly Egyptian, there was simultaneous translation for all the speakers. Registration was free and participants were treated to a three-course dinner after the event.
The forum was very interactive, giving participants an opportunity to raise their concerns, ask questions and speak privately to the presenters concerning their own personal urinary incontinence (UI) problems. There was also an opportunity during registration and breaks to view exhibit displays of products and information on incontinence. Sherif Mourad, chair of the ICS annual meeting in Cairo, announced the World Incontinence Day by welcoming participants to the event. The first World Continence Week will be held 22-28 June, 2009. Diaa Rizk, a Cairo gynaecologist, then discussed current care of urinary incontinence in the Middle East. CPC chairperson, Diane Newman, a nurse from the United States, focused on the global problem of urinary incontinence and how to increase awareness of this common condition which affects 50-100 million individuals (1 in 6) worldwide.
Lynne van Poelgeest, vice-president of the World Federation of Incontinent Patients (WFIP) gave an overview of patient challenges to accessing continence care. Nadia Yani, an Egyptian nurse, discussed the nurse’s role in managing incontinence conservatively and behaviorally. She was followed by Rani Vadiveloo, director of the Society for Continence Singapore, who presented an overview of the Singapore experience and the importance of collaboration to increase continence awareness. Jane Meijlink, chairman of the International Painful Bladder Foundation (IPBF) gave an overview of Interstitial Cystitis and Painful Bladder Syndrome. The evening concluded with Vasan Srini, urologist from India, who explained the meaning of World Continence Week. There was much interest from the audience regarding nocturnal enuresis in children as well as the consequences of childbirth on urinary control and consequent UI with sexual relations.