What is the EMAS?


OBGYN.net Conference CoverageFrom the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) 5th Congress, Copenhagen, Denmark-July, 2000

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OBGYN.net:  “We’re in Copenhagen at the EMAS 2000 Conference, and I’m speaking to Professor Manuel Neves-e-Castro from Portugal who is the webmaster of the EMAS website.  I want to ask you first what exactly is the EMAS?”

Dr. Manuel Neves-e-Castro:  “EMAS is an acronym for European Menopause and Andropause Society.  This is a scientific association composed of individual members although we have a number of recognized affiliated National European Menopause Societies that constitutes sort of a forum of discussion for our advice.  The purpose of this society is not so much as it has been with most other societies, the organization of Congress, so we started a Congress organization.  Although we organize Congresses on a regular basis, our main purpose is to put together all national European menopause societies to have common denominators of interests and common goals but above all to see if we could have the epidemiology of the menopause in Europe because the only reference that we have so far is what happens in the United States which is a rather homogeneous country, ethnically speaking.  Whereas here in Europe, we know that Northern Europe is different from Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe is different from Western Europe in terms of pathology and incidence of a number of diseases, so this is the most important goal.  As you mentioned, I think the web page is going to be a crucial tool for us to achieve our goals because you cannot do anything along these lines unless you have open channels of communication, not only to report but also to be informed, not only to store data but also to retrieve the data for the benefit of everybody.  So from the central office we could give a number of supporting material to the national societies in terms of protocols, in terms of what’s going on around the world, and what’s going on in terms of the literature and so on.  All these sorts of tools are absolutely necessary nowadays for the good performance of whoever is involved in the society activity.”

OBGYN.net:  “Recently your society adopted Maturitas as their official journal, and this is the first way of communication?”

Dr. Manuel Neves-e-Castro:  “I think that this is a major step in our society’s life.  Number one because Maturitas is a highly prestigious journal with a very high citation index and so it adds prestige to our society just the same as it is for the benefit of Maturitas to have this journal being the official organ of our society that has already built a reputation and has prestige.  We have a number of pages available for our EMAS Society so that we may publish new submissions by our member societies or individual members thus exchanging ideas and information of activities in several countries and so on.  Furthermore, we have a special package that has been approved by the General Assembly, which is that every new member of the society and former members will pay a membership fee that includes not only the contribution to EMAS but also the subscription to Maturitas.  This is very good because they will have a much lower price than what they would have to pay if they had to subscribe to Maturitas alone without this particular package, and this is good for Maturitas because the more members that come to EMAS, the more journals that will be circulating.  It is good for EMAS because the deal is a great advantage for both parties.”

OBGYN.net:  “Will Maturitas only appear in print?”

Dr. Manuel Neves-e-Castro:  “Maturitas will appear in print but it will also appear in our new web page.  First with the index page and the abstracts but for those who are members of EMAS, they will have special access to full papers using the password that is given only to registered members of EMAS.  So depending on the status, even a non-member will have access to the index page and eventually some abstracts but only the members of the society will have access to full papers.”

OBGYN.net:  “Is EMAS only for their members or the consumer - the women - as the target for education?”

Dr. Manuel Neves-e-Castro:  “Actually, EMAS is for women and we are one approach to reach women and women are our target, therefore, we shall reach women and look after their health through the providers of healthcare, the physicians, the nurses and so on.  We also shall reach them directly through campaigns, the fusion of information through the media, and through the national societies that we shall encourage to organize a number of meetings with the public just to pass the information and the message.”

OBGYN.net:  “What role does the date October 18th play in this field?”

Dr. Manuel Neves-e-Castro:  “It’s the World Menopause Day and it’s an International Menopause Society program that was suggested by the Portuguese Menopause Society in Sidney during the last meeting of the International Menopause Society.  It was approved, and it’s running within the context of CAMS, which is the Counsel of Affiliated Menopause Societies.  I have the pleasure to be the Project Leader for this particular initiative and the purpose I had in mind when I proposed it was just to have the opportunity once a year all over the world and where ever we have people involved in the delivery of care for menopausal women or menopause societies to talk about menopause.  We are not going to teach anything during this day but we are going to try to sensitize politicians, health providers, women, families, you name it that this problem exists, and it’s the beginning of risk factors that can be prevented for the benefit of the individual’s health and public health and to decrease costs of healthcare by preventative medicine.”

OBGYN.net:  “Will your website help with these kinds of activities?”

Dr. Manuel Neves-e-Castro:  “Definitely, all websites available are going to be involved in this particular project and our own at EMAS will certainly be a way of communication for advise with the societies and with the public because our website can be opened by anybody who isn’t a member of the EMAS Society.  They will have the opportunity to collect information that we are trying to spread to other people.”

OBGYN.net:  “It’s surprising, although you're more than 40 years old, you already have a lot of experience with web presence in Portugal.”

Dr. Manuel Neves-e-Castro:  “Yes, together with a group of friends and colleagues, I founded the Portuguese Menopause Society.  When we started by having a newsletter, I immediately realized it was much too expensive and, furthermore, it would soon be outdated.  So I decided to start a web page where all the information is available but knowing that many members are not yet involved with Internet surfing, we organize Internet courses for them and as a bonus, we give them a course in Power Point to help them prepare slides and everything else.  We are now organizing the second course for the Internet.  Of course, there are resistances that we must go above but, nevertheless, I think it’s working out all right.  According to the number of visits that we can check in our page, we are very flattered that the pages attract so much attention not only from Portugal but from Brazil and many, many other countries.”

OBGYN.net:  “You told me your aim was for the EMAS website to be the best website in the world about menopause.  Can you tell me which other websites you think are interesting for looking for information about menopause?”

Dr. Manuel Neves-e-Castro:  “Specifically about menopause there’s a very good one which is the website of the North American Menopause Society, the NAMS website.  The website of the Brazilian Society of Climacteric is very good as well, and not linked to organizations or societies is the OBGYN.net, be it the international version or the Latin American version, both are equally splendid with links and openings to all sorts of information that you may need.  We even have in the OBGYN.net access to the knowledge finder which uses one of the most potent motors to search information in Medline.”

OBGYN.net:  “Thank you very much.”

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