UEG Digestive Health Month in May
The first UEG Digestive Health Month, organised by United European Gastroenterology (UEG), will take place in May. It is being held to raise awareness of digestive health conditions in Europe and to highlight opportunities to help advance the treatment and prevention of related diseases.
Among the initiatives being organised by UEG will be two events in the European Parliament to draw attention to digestive health conditions, many of which are often ignored:
- On May 26, a policy discussion will be held to highlight the importance of screening for two of the most common digestive cancers, colorectal and pancreatic. ‘Prevention, Promotion and Screening: European Code Against Cancer’ will be hosted by MEP Pavel Poc and organised in collaboration with the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) and MEPs Against Cancer (MAC) to coincide with the European Week Against Cancer (May 25 to May 31).
- On May 31 and June 1, UEG will organise a policy debate and exhibition focused on Digestive Health and Children. This event will be hosted by MEP Michèle Rivasi and will bring together doctors, patients, the European Commission and researchers to mobilise support for change in paediatric digestive health.
The future health of European nations will be determined by the health of today's children and early detection is the key to a more healthy society. UEG will therefore be highlighting the importance of good digestive health as part of a healthy lifestyle amongst all ages, especially children.
“At least 30% of the European population will be affected by a digestive condition at least once during their lifetime,” says Professor Thierry Ponchon, Chair of the UEG Public Affairs Committee. “More than 600 million patients aged over 60 suffered from a digestive disease in the year 2000 and this number is expected to double to 1.2 billion by 2025. More worrying, is that the incidence of childhood gastrointestinal disorders is increasing in many European countries yet diagnosis rates are still low,” he says. We must therefore act now and make European digestive health a higher priority on the health agenda and drive change in treatment provision, patient care and prevention strategies in order to ensure better health for the next generation.”
In addition to events in the European Parliament, UEG Digestive Health Month will also feature in social media, via the hashtag #DigestiveHealthMonth, to engage policymakers, the public and associations across Europe.