Members Newsletter No 3 - September 2008

From the desk of the Chairman

Dear Members

Firstly, it is important to highlight the new committee's achievements over the last year. The different sub-committees worked diligently and will report over the next few months in the Society's newsletters. Important documents will be posted on our webpage:

Secondly, it is of utmost importance to achieve our goal of accreditation of laboratories across the country and, parallel with this, generate data from different IVF units in an anonymous way to stay abreast with worldwide trends in the IVF arena. We hope that SA will be able to report on their experience with IVF at the next IFFS Conference.

Thirdly, we are in the preliminary stages of investigating the possibilities of forming a stronger fertility society, yet with the flexibility to keep the different sections eg Andrology, Assisted Reproduction, Surgery, etc, separate to maintain smaller dynamic groups. The idea of a stronger national society will be to assist us with sponsorship and create a better opportunity for workshops and national conferences. This model already exists in many countries, eg USA. More on this will be given to you in our next newsletter.

Lastly, we want to encourage all members to give feedback to our secretariat with any suggestions that can strengthen this society, serving you as a member. Please remember that the next SASOG meeting will take place at The Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West from 5-7 October 2008.

Kind regards
Thinus Kruger
National ART Data Monitoring and Accreditation

We have recently written to you to plan a meeting in Gauteng in order to discuss the way ahead with regard to national ART data monitoring. In addition to ART monitoring, we would also like to discuss with you where we are in the process of accreditation of laboratory and clinics.

The suggestion has now been raised that we have a meeting to discuss these matters in conjunction with our upcoming SASOG conference. The programme for SASOG is unfortunately quite full leaving limited time to schedule meetings, but there would be an opportunity for us to meet on Saturday October 4th between 4pm and 7pm, i.e. after the end of the workshops and before the start of the opening ceremony.

Please could you let us know asap whether you approve of this suggestion, whether you intend to attend SASOG and whether you would be available to meet at the time suggested. Please send your reply to our secretariat at

ART Policy Guidelines for 2008: 1st Edition

The First edition of the policy Guidelines for ART in SA has been recently posted on the SASREG website, following much discussion and deliberation. The need for such a document was greatly overdue, based on international trends in ART practice. These guidelines are by no means statutory but will hopefully serve to form the basis of best practice for the ART fraternity in South Africa.

Undoubtedly, as trends change, the guidelines will need to be modified accordingly.

The field of ART is evolving rapidly and current legislation unfortunately does not address all the immediate needs of the fertility practitioner.

These guidelines will hopefully bridge the gap between legislation and accepted best practice pertaining to more recent advances.

Comments on the content of the document are most welcome and should be directed to the policy sub-committee via the secretariat.

1ST WORKSHOP Clinical Technology Workshop in Spermatology

8th April 2008
The Reproductive Biology Laboratory (RBL; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology) hosted a clinical technology workshop in Reproductive Biology on the 8th of April 2008.

Several academic lectures designed to support the curriculum of student clinical technologists (3rd year) were presented before and after a hands-on spermatology workshop?. The practical course was initiated with a spermatology slide show to test the participants' knowledge on sperm morphology, where after hands-on laboratory training, individual testing and group-consensus guidance took place. Lectures ranged from scientific writing, basic microscopy, and clinical spermatology to sexual transmitted diseases and assisted reproduction (AR) procedures.

The participants, from Durban and Tshwane University of Technology, enjoyed a full 10-hour day of academic discussions and received a compilation of recent literature on risk reduction, quality control measures during AR and spermatology. The next workshop, covering aspects of human embryology in vitro, is planned for the second half of the year.

A) Participants:
Back-row: Mr. L. Chetty (BioART Fertility Centre, Jhb), Mr. P. Maharaj (RBL, PAH), Ms. V Sookdeo (St. Augustines Hospital Durban), Ms. S. Maharaj (BioART Fertility Centre, Jhb), Prof. D. Franken*? (Tygerberg Hospital, US), Dr. N Aneck-Hahn* (Andrology, PAH), Dr. C. Huyser* (RBL, PAH), Mrs. C. van Zyl* (Life Wilgers Infertility Clinic, Pta); Middle row: Ms. T. Sarumi & Ms. S. Pretorius (Genesis Fertility Centre, Pta), Ms. D. Abu Hassan Abu & Ms. L. Grant (RBL, PAH); Front row: Ms. N. Bassa (BioART Fertility Centre, Jhb), Ms. K. Ferreira & Ms. S. Maharaj (RBL, PAH); Not in photo: Dr. J. Biko, Mr. J. Fourie* & Mr. N. Moodley (RBL, PAH), Mrs. M. Rossouw* (Zeiss, SA, Jhb).

SASOG 2008
The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Cape Town is privileged to be organising the 33rd National Congress for the South African Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in October 2008.

The SASOG 2008 Congress will be held at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West which is in the midst of the breathtaking surroundings of the famous Cape Winelands. This venue is also conveniently situated 20 minutes from Cape Town International Airport and offers excellent facilities both for the formal academic programme as well as the workshops and social events.

The theme of the Congress is "Women's Health - The Wheel of Life". An outstanding group of international speakers has been invited to participate in this Congress and we are confident that they, together with the national Faculty, will ensure that this meeting offers the latest information on significant developments as well as state-of-the art practice in our discipline.

We hope the few days of the congress will not only enrich your professional, scientific and academic knowledge but will also afford you the opportunity to re-establish old acquaintances and forge new friendships with others in our profession.

On behalf of the Organising Committee, it is my privilege to invite you to attend SASOG 2008 and we look forward to welcoming you to the Western Cape.

Yours sincerely
Chairman of the Organising Committee

Members Forum
Roelof Menkveld Takes the Lead
At the recent ESHRE 2008 congress in Barcelona I took over as SIG-Andrology co-ordinator (SIG = Special Interest Group).

There are about 10 to 12 SIG groups. Main purpose is advancement and education of specific interest area, arrange pre-congress and campus courses.

SIG co-ordinators also serve on the ESHRE International Scientific committee, who's basic task is to arrange the speakers program of the annually ESHRE Congress meetings.


Chairman Prof TF Kruger
Vice-Chairman Dr P le Roux
Secretary Prof DR Franken
Treasurer Dr J Bagratee
Ex Officio: Past President Dr. Pl Dalmeyer
Members Dr MI Cassim
Dr S Dyer
Dr H Netshidzivhani
Dr I Siebert


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