SASREG Newsletter - May 2011

Message from the desk of the President:

Dear Member,

The new SASREG Council has been elected and I would like to thank you for participating in the voting process. The secretariat of SASREG organised an online voting system for this election. This successfully allowed many more members to vote without having to travel to a specific venue.

The new Council members were elected in the following categories:

Reproductive Medicine   Endoscopy   Embryology / Scientist
Paul le Roux   Igno Siebert   Marie-Lena de Beer
Silke Dyer   Sulaiman Heylen    
Merwyn Jacobson   Danie Botha    
Yusuf Dasoo   Thabo Matsaseng    
Saleema Nosarka   Stephan Volschenk    

I would like to congratulate all the elected Council members. I think that there is a strong dynamic Council who is committed to making SASREG stronger and working hard over the next 3 years.

The first Council meeting was held on the 7th May 2011 and the Executive Committee was elected as follows:

President:   Dr. Paul le Roux
Vice-President:   Dr.Merwyn Jacobson
Treasurer:   Dr. Yusuf Dasoo
Secretary:   Dr. Marie-Lena de Beer

The Chairman of the Endoscopy group was also elected: Prof Igno Siebert

The Turner's Conferences company has provided a professional secretariat service for SASREG which has allowed our society to become more organised, have better communication between Council members (with regular teleconference meetings) and provide a framework for website development and conference hosting. Mr Dudley Randall, their M.D. has been personally involved in our society and given much of his precious time to help our cause. The Council is grateful for this and has elected to retain their services.

Prof. Thinus Kruger will continue to serve as ex-officio Past-President on the new Council as per the constitution to provide continuity. I would like to thank him and the members of the previous Council for the excellent work done over the last 3 years. Many of the achievements will be developed further by the new Council.

I would like to summarise some of the key achievements made so far by the previous Council under the Presidency of Prof Kruger:

  • Accreditation of IVF units in South Africa. Dr. le Roux, Prof Siebert and Prof Dyer were involved with this process and assisted by other committee members. After the accreditation guidelines were approved, clinics voluntarily applied for accreditation and were visited by 2 committee members who followed a pre-determined checklist. There are currently 10 clinics that have been accredited and additional clinics are still applying to be visited.
  • The development of the SARA (South African Registry for ART) database. This has been a huge achievement chaired by Prof. Silke Dyer. The 2009 data incorporated 12 clinics data which was then processed as national anonymous data. It is a proud day for our Sub-Speciality to be able to contribute our South African data to the International community (ICMART) for the first time.
  • The endoscopy group chaired by Prof Siebert has looked at laparoscopy training for both qualified gynaecologists and registrars in training. Prof Siebert and his team have provided a logbook for registrars which has been accepted by the College of Medicine. This means that registrars now have to do laparoscopy component to a certain skill level prior to being able to write their College Exams. Workshops for endoscopy were held in different regions of South Africa for qualified gynaecologists as additional in-service training. The first workshops were on basic laparoscopy skills and were highly successful.
  • Development of a website for SASREG. This has facilitated guidelines which can be presented easily to SASREG members along with other important information. Drs. Cassim, Netshidzivhani, and le Roux wrote these guidelines for ART and gamete donation.
  • An annual regional conference for SASREG has been started. The first one was hosted in Port Elizabeth by Drs. Dalmeyer and Botha. This was an inspiring initiative and has provided a framework for future SASREG conferences.
  • Liaison with the Department of Health and other interest groups to provide input for new legislation for Chapter 8 of the National Health Act and its regulations. This group was chaired by Dr. Dalmeyer. Many of the ideas provided by this SASREG sub-committee were introduced into the new legislation.


At the first meeting the new Council identified some important goals for the future at the first meeting which have been divided between portfolio Sub-Committees. The list of portfolio committees for the next term of office is listed below. Additional members of SASREG may be co-opted onto these committees for extra input and I encourage all members to get actively involved if they feel they can be of benefit to the work done by a Sub-Committee. This list of Sub-Committees is as follows:

Public Relations Sub-Committee:
Merwyn Jacobson (Chair), Marie-Lena de Beer, Silke Dyer

Guidelines Group Sub-Committee:
Igno Siebert, Silke Dyer, Saleema Nosarka, Carin Huyser

Funding Sub-Committee:
Yusuf Dasoo (Chair) + sub-group to go forward for discussions with funders.

Africa Sub-Committee:
Thabo Matsaseng (Chair), Paul le Roux, Igno Siebert

Conference Sub-Committee:
Conference chair for each individual conference.

Endoscopy Sub-Committee:
Igno Siebert (Chair), Sulaiman Heylen, Danie Botha, Thabo Matsaseng, Stephan Volschenk

SARA Sub-Committee:
Silke Dyer(Chair), Thinus Kruger, Paul le Roux, Igno Siebert, Marie-Lena de Beer

Special Interests Group Sub-Committee:
Thabo Matsaseng (Chair), Merwyn Jacobson, Marie-Lena de Beer

Accreditation Sub-Committee:
Paul le Roux (chair), Igno Siebert. Silke Dyer, Sulaiman Heylen, Merwyn Jacobson, Yusuf Doasoo, Marie-Lena de Beer

Research Sub-Committee:
Thinus Kruger (Chair)

I would like to highlight a few new exciting initiatives coming up:


We need to get more embryologists, fertility nurses and fertility counsellors / psychologists involved in SASREG. These are essential areas of our Reproductive Medicine practices and therefore special interest groups will be formed to include these categories in the future. We will also include these categories when planning conference scientific programs. Dr. Thabo Matsaseng will be driving this new initiative. We offer free membership for one year for all new members in the category of embryologist, fertility nurse and fertility counsellor over the next 12 month period. After that membership fees will apply but they will be at a lower level than that of physicians. PLEASE get all everyone to join ASAP!! They can contact the secretariat via email for the application form.



Dr. Johan van der Wat who is a board member of AAGL (American Association of Gynaecologic Laparoscopists) and Prof. Thinus Kruger have successfully bid for SASREG for host the 2013 AAGL conference in Cape Town. It will be fantastic to host this conference in South Africa!! South African Gynaecologists will have the opportunity to attend along with international delegates. The local Organising Committee will be headed as follows: Chairperson - Prof Igno Siebert and Vice-Chair Dr. Paul le Roux. Keep your 2013 diaries ready for this exciting event.


The program for the next conference is already in progress and you will be notified of a date soon. These conferences will focus on endoscopy and reproductive medicine and be valuable for general gynaecologists and members with a sub-specialist interest in reproductive medicine.


An email will be sent to all SASREG members shortly containing the new regulations for Chapter 8 of the National Health Act. These apply to our Sub-Speciality of Reproductive Medicine and we have to incorporate these new laws into our current practice. The committee also realises the need for guidelines for egg donor agencies and a system of accreditation. Dr. Sulaiman Heylen will draft these guidelines for comment and work out a suitable system for accreditation to give SASREG's input to ensure Ethical practice.

A closing word -

My wish is that the benefits of belonging to SASREG become obvious to all. Our vision is that SASREG will be the strong voice for our members. We aim to provide a platform for: training in endoscopy and reproductive medicine, education via conferences and practical workshops, accreditation of clinics, data collection and liaison with government and groups that influence us. We aim to improve public relations and create awareness about Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy for medical professionals and patients. In small steps this makes us better doctors for all the women who entrust themselves to our care.

Thank for your belonging to SASREG, and we ask you to please continue your membership and support in the future.

With best wishes

Yours sincerely