17 WORLD GASTROENTEROLOGY NEWS JANUARY 2016 Gastro 2015: AGW-WGO | Expert Point of View | Gastro 2016: EGHS-WGO | WDHD News | WGO & WGOF News | WGO Global Guidelines | Calendar of Events World Digestive Health Day Activities in Thailand Varocha Mahachai, MD, FRCPC, FACG, AGAF Department of Medicine Division of Gastroenterology Chulalongkorn University Hospital Bangkok, Thailand The Gastroenterology Association of Thailand (GAT), led by GAT President, Professor Varocha Mahachai, brought leading hospitals and com-panies together to raise awareness of GERD to the Thai medical and public communities on the occasion of World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) 2015 “Heartburn: A Global Perspec-tive.” Professor Mahachai is one of the members of the WDHD 2015 Steer-ing Committee, a group of individuals representing a global view and expertise in heartburn under the leadership of Professor David Armstrong (Canada), responsible for guiding the course of the campaign, leading in the develop-ment of tools and activities throughout 2015 and beyond. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has become increasingly common in this part of the world. The number of patients has increased two fold in the past 5-10 years and approximately 10-15% of patients who seek medical attention with symptoms of dyspepsia have GERD. However, it is hard to say that the disease and the medical treatment are well understood by health care providers and the public. Many patients perceive GERD as the simple symptom of heartburn and treat themselves on their own judgment without any awareness of the recurrent nature of GERD or the possible out-comes and complications which could be more serious and difficult to treat. Hence, this was a great opportunity to deliver a global event in Thailand. A series of both public awareness and scientific activities took place around Bangkok which boosted the aware-ness of GERD in Thailand during the month of May 2015: Dr. Mahachai and other faculty at Vibhavadi Hospital for WDHD professional development event on 26 May. Health Care Professional Activities 1. An academic symposium was held at Vibhavadi Hospital in Bangkok on 26 May 2015. The topic of this one hour academic session was “GERD Pathophysiology and Management: What do we know and where should we go?” 2. An academic symposium with a teleconference to CME networks took place at Bangkok Hospital on 27 May 2015. The topic of this one hour academic session, which offered physicians one CME credit, was “From Theory to Prac-tice: Managing GERD and Reflux Disease in 2015.” Teleconference attendees included physicians at Bangkok Chantaburi Hospital, Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, and Samitivej Sriracha Hospital. More than 200 physicians, as well as 100 nurses and pharmacists, joined in these academic programs with good feedback from the audience and hospital management team. General Public Awareness Activities 1. A seminar was held at Siriraj Hospital on 11 May 2015 with a two hour “meet the expert” ses-sion on “What is Heartburn and treatment options,” health check, and healthy food workshop by a Faculty at Siriraj Hospital for WDHD general public awareness campaign on 11 May. nutritionist.
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