15 WORLD GASTROENTEROLOGY NEWS APRIL 2015 Editorial | Expert Point of View | Gastro 2015: AGW/WGO | WDHD News | WGO & WGOF News | WGO Global Guidelines | Calendar of Events consequence, are valued by gastroenterologists from all over the world. Are there any areas of gastroenterological research that you are particularly excited by at the moment? Would you like to highlight any significant advances in the field? This is a question I can only answer for areas of the specialty in which I have direct knowledge. However, I am excited by the fact that it is currently possible to eliminate hepatitis B from the world by effective childhood immunisation programmes. I am keen to work with colleagues who can make this happen, and this is also an area of interest for WGO. In addition, I am excited by the fact that we can treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by targeting the problem of obesity. We have effective surgical approaches that can alleviate the obesity epidemic. The world needs to adopt these procedures to treat the existing problem and, in addition, use effective means to prevent obesity in future generations. Finally, advances in the prevention, early detection and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers are rapidly becoming available. Colon cancer should be a largely preventable disease as we have effective screening programmes. Also, gastric cancer could become preventable as our understanding of the role of Helicobacter pylori in its formation becomes better understood. What are the biggest challenges currently faced by gastroenterologists, and how is WGO striving to combat these issues? The biggest challenge worldwide is access to quality healthcare for gastroenterological disorders for three-quarters of the world’s population. Education is the key to addressing this problem, as it will potentially be far more effective in the long run compared to us providing clinical services. WGO is focusing most of its energies in trying to alleviate this problem and, in partnership with our member societies, I believe that we are making inroads. Generally speaking, there is an extraordinary willingness from colleagues across the entire world to provide their time and expertise. It is actually resources which tend to be the limiting factor. Fortunately, we also have willing partners in the biomedical industry who have expressed interest in what we are trying to achieve. I am hopeful that over the next 12 months our education programmes will expand significantly with their assistance. www.worldgastroenterology.org “Reprinted with permission from International Innovation. This article originally appeared in issue 168.” GLOBAL GUIDELINES FOR GLOBAL ISSUES As a global organisation, WGO has a duty to provide guidance in a manner that is applicable to gastroenterologists everywhere. Their Global Guidelines are written with this in mind, seeking to provide a comprehensive reference resource for the most pressing gastroenterological concerns. Each area features a list of the most significant recent literature – including meta-analyses, systemic reviews, practice guidelines and clinical trials – and grades them based on their importance within the field. Here, International Innovation profiles some of the topics covered Coeliac Disease This common form of enteropathy results from an adverse reaction to gluten. While the disease is known to arise in genetically predisposed individuals, and results from an autoimmune response, the exact underlying factors are still unclear. The featured research in WGO’s guidelines includes some of the latest efforts to improve disease screening and diagnosis. Helicobacter Pylori These bacteria are present in over 50 per cent of the world’s population, and have been linked with an array of conditions from gastritis to gastric cancer. With a recommendation from Dr Barry Marshall, one of the Nobel Prize-winning scientists who first identified this bacterium in 1982, the Organisation’s H. pylori section features the latest insights from around the world, with a special focus on the impact it has in developing countries, where infection is more prevalent. Inflammatory Bowel Disease A catch-all term for a group of idiopathic chronic inflammatory intestinal conditions, of which the two most well-known are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These diseases have an autoimmune origin, with the body’s own immune system attacking elements of the digestive system. WGO’s guidelines include key developments in every area from personalised approaches for Crohn’s disease to the efficacy of combination therapies for treating ulcerative colitis.
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