5th Joint Meeting of ESPU-SPU
Initially planned Sept. 16-19th, 2020 - Lisbon, Portugal

Important information about the meeting

The ESPU board had to take the painful decision to halt the proceedings for the time being while we see how the situation develops in coming weeks, but alternate arrangements have not yet been finalised.

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Communication on COVID-19

Dear all (ESPU members, friends and colleagues),

It has indeed been a while since I have communicated, the extended break owing to the Joint meeting in September 2020 rather than the usual Spring meeting every year. I would never have imagined I would be writing to all of you in these exceptional and unprecedented circumstances of a Virus outbreak namely Covid-19. This invisible foe has changed humanity and social interaction in my view for ever.

Each one of you, I am sure is grappling with bombardment of news items from various sources including mainstream and social media. It is indeed heart breaking to hear all these stories that makes us both sad and anxious for us and our family and friends. We have lost colleagues to this outbreak, a sobering thought indeed and this is not normal. Some countries have been much more affected than others and it is not necessary for me to highlight any as it is all well known to all of you.

The ESPU board and particularly the ESPU exec team are continuing to monitor and take decisions appropriately in this constantly evolving scenario. As things unfold, we will try and make the decisions that will aim to mitigate or minimise the financial risks involved in organising the Joint meeting in September 2020.

As of now, the prospect of hosting the joint meeting in Sept 2020 is still on. However, to give our reviewers (involved with scoring abstracts) some breathing space whilst they come to terms themselves with current situation and adapt to their individual circumstances, we have extended the reviewing process on OLAS until 17th April. We hope to then have the scientific committee meeting in the 1st week of May 2020. We will of course keep you all informed should the circumstances dictate us to change course as alluded to earlier by such briefings and if necessary, upload onto the website.

In the meanwhile, Marco and myself have put together some information from resources available and summarise the recommendations for change in practice for professionals in paediatric urology whilst this pandemic is ongoing. The document is available on this link.

Just to update re the board’s well-being, ESPU is still well governed, all board members are well and active; all committees are operational; our administrative staff are well and working from homes with social distancing, I am reassured.

Please do feel free to send any comments, suggestions, feedback or queries you may have to me and I will share it with the board.

To conclude, I would like to share with you all this poem by John O'Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

“This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”

For those who are not into poetry, you may want to listen to Evan Hansen’s “You will be found” on the link below:

https://youtu.be/mSfH2AuhXfw

Until the next communication, best wishes to stay safe,

Ramnath Subramaniam
Secretary ESPU on behalf of the ESPU board.