March 2008 – Dr Jeffrey Low

Gazetted in February 1992, our Society turned 16 years old last month. We have organized 12 very successful Annual Colposcopy Courses and have heard 13 Orations. Over the years, the SCCPS has matured in its role as a professional organization providing quality CME programs and as opinion leader both locally and internationally in the field of colposcopy, screening and prevention of lower genital tract disease.

Our current membership stands at 170 members, with 142 ordinary members, 14 Honorary Members, and 14 new members who have joined us since the last AGM. We would like to welcome:

  • Dr Kanika Chaudhuri, NUH
  • Dr Shirin Jacob, Camden Medical Centre
  • Dr Anita Kale, NUH
  • Dr Nurhidayati Mohamed, NUH
  • Dr Ng Ying Woo, NUH
  • Dr Anthony Siow, KKH
  • Dr Pearl Tong, NUH
  • Dr Chia Yin Nin, KKH
  • Dr Chung Pin Soon, NUH
  • Dr Namuduri R Devi, KKH
  • Dr Veronica Djapardy, NUH
  • Dr Lubna Ahmad Harbarah, KKH
  • Dr Lee Jiah Min, KKH
  • Dr Lee Chee Wan, C. W. Lee Clinic For Women & Surgery

I would encourage all members to play an active role in the SCCPS, especially the younger members, to get involved in the council and steer the society to even greater heights.

As we know, our national cervical screening programme, CervicalScreen Singapore was launched by the Health Promotion Board in August 2004. The SCCPS was tasked to look after colposcopy skills quality assurance and thus the Colposcopy Registration Committee was formed. A structured training program for colposcopy was drawn up and a national Register of Colposcopists was published on our website. In addition, a Workgroup on Training for Pap smear taking was initiated for quality assurance among polyclinic nurses. Management Guidelines for Abnormal Pap smear and Preinvasive Disease of the Cervix was also published. In 2006, it was realized that quality assurance among cytotechs reading pap smears was also of paramount importance. Thus a Specialist Diploma in Cervical Cytology was launched, and this is run by the Division of Biomedical Science within the School of Chemical and Life Sciences of the Singapore Polytechnic in partnership with the Singapore Association for Medical Laboratory Sciences. The program is spearheaded by Mr Benjamin Yang, Lecturer of Singapore Polytechnic. The first intake was in 2007, and the cytotechs will all undergo a rigorous 2-stage course structure comprising 270 hours of lectures, tutorials and practicals. SCCPS was approached and was pleased to endorse the program in October 2007. We will assist in providing lecturers and will advise on curriculum development of this very important program. We also hope that this collaboration will foster greater interaction among Colposcopists, pathologists and cytotechnicians, so that each will develop a fuller understanding about the work and problems faced by others involved in the processing of each pap smear.

In the colposcopy re-registration cycle, each gynaecologist should do 30 cases and attend at least 1 recognized colposcopy course over 2 years. Colposcopy is a core skill, not limited to subspecialists and we are working with the Specialists Training Committee to incorporate the structured training program into the national specialty training program. We foresee that completion of this program will eventually become a requirement for all O&G trainees prior to their exit. A proposal has already been submitted to STC for consideration. Colleagues in private practice who are unable to fulfill the 30 cases for re-registration may liaise with KKH, SGH or NUH for attachments to colposcopy clinics for hands-on practice. I would like to thank Dr Lisa Wong for chairing the CRC last year and would also like to thank HPB for continued funding of this important program.

Our web site,, is now managed by the webdesigner from Orient Explorer. The entire site has recently been completely revamped with a fresh new look which was launched on 3 March 2008. News of colposcopy courses that you can attend both overseas and locally are posted on the website. Important, there are also links on the front page to guidelines and new data published to help you in your clinical practice. The register of colposcopists is also online, with details of the structured training program. Dr Quek Swee Chong and A/Prof A Ilancheran are in-charge of developing the website. All suggestions on how to further improve our website would be most welcome.

One of the highlights for SCCPS in the last 2 years is our international collaboration with colleagues in Tamil Nadu in South India, and WHO, to assist in cervical cancer reduction in this region. The cervical cancer incidence in rural South India is documented as being close to 100 per 100,000 ASR. Resources for cytology and pathology are scarce in this very poor socioeconomic area. Through our colleague Prof Rajkumar at the PSG Institute in Coimbatore, SCCPS has co-organised 2 workshops in conjunction with CANRED (Cancer Reduction Program) India and WHO. On 17-19 November 2006, the 1st International Scientific Meeting was organized and we conducted a basic and advanced colposcopy workshop, as well as a hands-on workshop in the village. The 2nd International Workshop on Cervical Diseases and Cancer Prevention was held on 11-12 February 2008. At this workshop, we were able to demonstrate to the local doctors that LEEP treatment can be easily carried out under local anesthetic in an outpatient setting. KKH also generously donated a colposcope and video monitor which will greatly enhance the screening program there. If there are any members who wish to donate equipment to this worthy cause, please let us know.

The advent of the HPV vaccine has to be one of the greatest breakthroughs in cervical cancer research in recent years. There are 2 such vaccines that are now available in Singapore, both backed by very extensive research in terms of efficacy and safety. I urge all members to keep abreast with the data that is emerging very quickly as well as the guidelines that have been published. Remember that even with HPV vaccination, it is imperative that we KEEP SCREENING. On the separate issue of HPV testing (screening for high risk types), members are reminded that this should be done as long as you are able to interpret the results and as long as the results are able to help you in clinical decision-making.

  • 25 July 07 – Quadrivalent HPV Vaccine
  • 15 September 2007 – “Innovators Forum 07” – Cutting Edge Medicine
  • 16 January 2008 – Disease prevention for Women in the menopause
  • 25 January 2008 – New Updates in HPV disease and vaccination
  • 23 February 2008 – “More good news; protect her world against cervical cancer”

This year, we are having our 14th Annual Oration and 13th Annual Colposcopy Course on 8-9 March 2008. We welcome all participants especially those who have come from overseas.

Our Orator and keynote speaker this year is Dr R Sankaranarayanan, Head of the Screening Group, International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, Lyon, France. He is reknowned for his extensive involvement in cervical cancer prevention and screening programs all over the world including India, Congo, Laos, Nepal and Brazil. Dr Sankar has authored more than 120 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, and has also published many books which are widely used as training resources for cervical screening.

His Oration lecture is entitled “Recent Advances in Cervical Cancer Prevention in Low and Medium Resource Countries” and he will be delivering a Plenary Lecture on “Cervical Cancer Prevention Strategies” at the Course.

I would like to thank Dr Chia Yin Nin, Chair of the organizing committee and all her committee members for all their efforts and hard work in putting together the program for this weekend.

Chair of Programme Committee – Dr Chia Yin Nin

Members Dr Joe Ng, Dr Janice Chin, Dr Matthew Lau, Dr Tracey Lim, Dr Jasmine Mohd, Dr Claudine Tan, Dr Lisa Wong

We are grateful to all our sponsors for their very generous contributions and continued support.

  • Lee Foundation
  • Health Promotion Board
  • Merck Sharp & Dohme
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Carl Zeiss
  • Hologic
  • Genzyme

Nominal sponsors – College of Obstetrician & Gynaecologists, Singapore and Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Singapore.

No society can function well without efficient secretarial support. I would like to thank our Secretariat, Ms Michelle Choy and Orient Explorer Pte Ltd, who have been on board with us since May 2006. There were some initial teething problems in the beginning but things have been smooth thus far, and Michelle and her team continue to work hard in ensuring the smooth running of SCCPS affairs.

I would like to thank all my Council Members for their commitment and very significant contributions to the Society:

  • Dr Lisa Wong
    Vice President and Chair of CRC
  • Dr Tracey Lim
    Honorary Secretary
  • Dr Joe Ng
    Honorary Treasurer
  • Dr Lim Yong Kuei
    Council Member
  • Dr Chew Sung Hock
    Council Member
  • Dr Adelina Wong
    Council Member
  • Dr Lee I Wuen
    Council Member
  • Dr Quek Swee Chong
    Council Member
  • Dr Citra Mattar
    Council Member
  • Dr Alex Ooi
  • Dr Suresh Nair

Finally, it has been my privilege to serve as your President for the last 3 terms. I extend my best wishes to the incoming President and Council for 2008/2009 and ask that all members continue to give them your utmost support as they work to serve your interests through the SCCPS.

Best regards, Dr Jeffrey Low