SASA History

In the early sixties, the Cancer Association of SA provided a service to care for ostomates Dr. Hymie Kavin encouraged membership of the Ostomy Association under Cancer’s ‘umbrella’ in Johannesburg whilst Judy Truscott (Chamberlain) assisted patients at the Cancer Association in Durban, where people could meet, assist each other with problems and purchase stock.

In 1973, Doris Williams opened a stoma clinic on the 5th floor of Addington Hospital, Durban. Prilli Stevens, who hailed from England and had been influenced by the Late Barbara Saunders, MBE at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, opened a stomaltherapy service at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town. In 1976 Prilli ran the first stomaltherapy two-week course and continued training nurses in this speciality over many years. Marylyn McManus was seconded from the Cancer Association to work under the Late Professor Myburgh, Department of Surgery at the Wits Medical School, and had access to patients at the teaching hospitals in Johannesburg and the private sector.

At the first Stomaltherapy Congress run in Cape Town, the South African Stomaltherapy Association (SASA) was founded in November 1978. The first elected Executive included, Prilli Stevens as President, Marylyn McManus Vice President, Norma du Preez as Treasurer, Margaret Coyle as Correspondence Secretary, Helen Lehy as Recording Secretary, and Marylyn McManus as Historian. Biennial Stomaltherapy Congresses were held as the number of stomaltherapists grew and surgeons realised the value of stoma care for their patients.

The establishment of SASA coincided with the founding of the World Council of Enterostomaltherapists (WCET) in 1978. Our own Prilli Stevens and Marylyn McManus were 2 of the founding members of the WCET. In 1980, Prilli Stevens succeeded Norma N. Gill as the president of the WCET and Marylyn McManus was elected Treasurer.

A letter dated 7 March 1980 was received from Miss R. J. du Plessis, Executive Director of the SA Nursing Association (SANA) which stated: “At its meeting held in January 1980, the Board approved the establishment of the Association (SASA) and wished it every success in the future.”

In 1995 SASA were the recipients of a donation which enabled SASA to form the SASA TRUST for the purpose of supporting stomaltherapy and stoma care nurse education.

SASA has been in existence now for almost 40 years and is one of the longest running nursing associations in South Africa. Written by Marylyn McManus: 2014