About Us & History
The Society for Continence (Singapore) (SFCS) originated from the dedicated efforts of a group of doctors, nurses and rehabilitation therapists who recognised the special needs of the incontinent as far back as 1988. Among the pioneering group of people to be mentioned are Dr Anne Merriman, Dr Rilly Ray and Prof Peter Lim Huat Chye. In 1988, a symposium on the Management of Urinary Incontinence was held for the first time in Singapore for all healthcare professionals to address this growing malady.
The enthusiasm shown by medical professionals in treating incontinent patients prompted Prof Peter Lim Huat Chye, a Consultant Urologist to form an organisation to look into this sub-specialty. SFCS was officially set up in Toa Payoh Hospital as a voluntary welfare organisation registered with the Singapore government in 1991.
You can read some of the society’s milestones through the years, here: 1990 ~ 1999, 2000 ~ 2009
1. to disseminate information and educate healthcare professionals and the public on methods to promote urinary & bowel continence
2. to promote the education, training and rehabilitation of the incontinent and their general interests and welfare
3. to do such things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects, the Society may:
- render assistance to the incontinent through medical or non medical measures
- provide an organisation to foster friendship, understanding and mutual encouragement among the incontinent
- procure special benefits and concessions for the incontinent to better their condition
- raise funds from the general public and to accept gifts or bequests from any person, body or organisation for the benefit of the incontinent and in furtherance of the objectives of the Society
- create among the community and government an awareness of the special needs of the incontinent and solicit their cooperation and assistance for those afflicted with this malady as defined by the World Health Organisation as “The inability to control the discharge of urine or faeces which causes a social and hygienic problem for the community”.
It was in 1993 that the SFCS received requests from the region to help set-up similar organisations in their countries. The Society helped Malaysia, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan to set-up their own Continence sfcieties. The turning point came in 1994 when SFCS was invited to join the “Continence Promotion Committee” (CPC) of the International Continence Society, UK. It was then SFCS’s aggressive promotional activities commenced throughout Asia. In the same year “Continet”, an electronic network on the World Wide Web of the Internet was set up for the International Continence Society by Prof Peter Lim Huat Chye as part of our contribution to the CPC.
This ultimately developed an index system to facilitate rapid and easy communication of information between organisations and individuals. The SFCS has been granted affiliation with the Association for Continence Advice, UK in year 2000.
The Society recognises the importance of global networking in this Internet era and took serious measures in making the East meet the West. At this juncture there are 30 continence organisations worldwide. There are 12 from Central, North and South East Asia and 18 from the West.
SFCS has recommended to the CPC of the International Continence Society to reach-out to all such organisations to establish a strong networking among them – for exchange of ideas, knowledge, skills, training programmes and modus operandi. In many countries continence organisations are duplicating services in terms of resource materials. As all of them are working towards the same goal “Promoting Continence”, they can exchange training materials with slight modification to suit their country’s language and practices.
Global networking also enhances standardisation in continence management. For example, medical terminology is still a problem in countries where English is not an official language. Recently, SFCS initiated a project together with the CPC on translating “incontinence-terminology” with help of APCAB countries in their native languages.