Dear friends,

I am happy to announce that preparations are underway to conduct the 15th Annual Academic Sessions of the Sri Lanka Association of Urological Surgeons (SLAUS) on 27th of November 2020. Unfortunately,over the past few months, there have been unprecedented changes sweeping across the healthcare systems globally bringing restrictions and uncertainty to the world. This has indeed imposed numerous challenges to our practice.

As the situation continues to prevail in the region, changes are inevitable to SLAUS's programme this year, confining ourselves to a virtual conferencing. Although we prefer meeting in person, considering the current state of affairs, I believe it is prudent to allow our friends within the region and beyond, to connect with us virtually. This will allow them to share their academic excellence and expertise with us despite being unable to make a physical presence at the academic sessions.

I am delighted to convey that despite the current difficulties, Prof. Anant Kumar, the President of USI,has kindly accepted our invitation to be the Chief Guest at this event, while Prof. Prokar Dasgupta, as the SLAUS Orator, has agreed to deliver a speech on important areas in the future of urology.

As in all meetings, two functions are essential to make it successful - The scientific programme and the participation of our industry partners. This year's scientific programme aims to cover important aspects of uro-oncology, radiology, clinical microbiology, and many other areas related to the elderly population from a urological perspective. Further, a one-day pre-congress workshop, planned on upper tract percutaneous renal surgery is mainly focused to highlight the handling of difficult urological conditions. I hope this will help our trainees and young urologists to learn handling difficult encounters of the procedure.

In addition to this, I am obliged to announce the participation of several experts from the Allied Health Professions as our local faculty; namely uro-oncology, anaesthesiology, clinical microbiology and radiology. I hope their contribution will help our participants to expand their knowledge in areas beyond urology.

Meanwhile, access to our industry partners are available through virtual platform on 27th of November. Please take a moment to visit them and show your appreciation for their unwavering support during these trying times.

I kindly invite you to join me in thanking all those who helped us to make this conference a reality despite the ongoing pandemic. My special thanks to Dr Ishan Jayasuriya, the members of the council and resource persons for their unstinted support. I also take this opportunity to thank our sponsors for their generous contributions. Finally, my sincere thanks and gratitude goes to all the participants for joining with us to make this event a tremendous success.

I wish the Annual Academics Sessions 2020 all the very best.

Dr Namantha Nandasena
President Sri Lanka Association of Urological Surgeons (SLAUS)