World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) is annually observed on May 29th all over the world to raise awareness and underline the significance of digestive disorders and emphasise the importance of timely diagnosis, prevention and treatment for gastrointestinal (GI) diseases or disorders including cancer.
- The day also creates better understanding and support for the patients experiencing digestive diseases by the general public.
- WDHD on 29th May 2023 marks the 64th anniversary of the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) foundation.
The theme of World Digestive Health Day 2023 is “Your Digestive Health: A Healthy Gut From the Start“.
- The theme of 2023 focuses mainly about understanding the normal functions of GI tract and the importance of dietary needs in GI health.
i. World Digestive Health Day was officially established in 2004 to commemorate the 45th Anniversary of the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) foundation, which was established in May 29th 1958.
- The first ever World Digestive Health Day was observed on 29th May 2004.
ii. From 2005, the Member Societies and members of the WGO all over the world were invited to start the World Digestive Health Day activities.
History of WGO:
The “Organisation Mondiale de Gastro-entérologie” (OMGE) was constituted on 29th May 1958 in Washington, DC, the United States of Amercia (USA).
- OMGE was officially renamed the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) in May 2007.
i. Gastroenterology is a branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and related organs(mouth, pharynx (throat), oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus).
ii. Some common disorders of the gastrointestinal system include heartburn, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, and lactose intolerance
iii. The GI tract serves to provide nutrients to the body and enhance the immune response, house the Intestinal/Gut Microbiota (consists of a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms present in the human digestive tract) from birth.
About World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO):
President– Professor Guilherme Macedo (Portugal)
Headquarters– Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the United States of America (USA)