The World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) is comprised of over 100 Member Societies and 4 Regional Associations representing more than 50,000 gastroenterologists, hepatologists, GI surgeons and other healthcare professionals worldwide. As a federation of gastroenterological societies, together we project a strong and powerful voice to advance global understanding of GI, liver and related diseases through training, education and advocacy. Our one voice reflects the true global nature of the WGO and our aim to represent and support the discipline of gastroenterology worldwide and enhance the reach of our members, particularly in developing and low-resource regions.
WGO believes that it is the responsibility of societies to take an active role in promoting the growth and welfare of areas struggling to provide excellence of care in regions where available resources are at their lowest. As a member of WGO you are providing an opportunity to expand the knowledge and training of our members and increase our collective ability to truly be Global Guardians of Digestive Health. As a Member Society of WGO, the dues that your organization contributes each year are channeled into training, education and advocacy in the developing world, while serving as well to strengthen these aspects in developed regions. The high level of commitment from the WGO leadership all of whom are volunteers and staff to participate in the governance, training, and development of education and other resources for your members, along with a strong belief in our mission, makes the WGO an organization of which you can be proud.
Partnership with our member organizations is the keystone of WGO’s global activities. We invite you to consider the impact that your organization is able to achieve as a member of the WGO federation of societies.
Twenty-three WGO Training Centers around the world provide training delivered by WGO volunteers working with local experts and colleagues from Member Societies and educational programs to hundreds of healthcare professionals every year. The Training Centers promulgate locally relevant knowledge and develop the skills of medical practitioners and healthcare workers from low-resource countries to:
Since 2001, over 2,200 trainees have been trained at the WGO Training Centers thanks to the dedication of over 150 international volunteer trainers.
Since 2001, 900+ trainees from over 80 countries have participated in 20+ TTT workshops. The WGO Train the Trainers (TTT) program brings together educators from across the globe in an intensive and interactive four-day workshop, as well as two-day topic-focused workshops dedicated to the development of teaching and training skills. The TTT program creates an unparalleled forum for interaction and discussion between world leaders in gastroenterology, endoscopy, hepatology and GI surgery, with the universal goal being excellence in patient care through the optimal delivery of gastroenterology education and training.
WGO provides a library of WGO Global Guidelines which, unlike other medical guidelines which are targeted to specific regions or countries, have been written and distributed with the entire world in mind. WGO is the only international organization with this global focus. Each guideline is developed by a team of experts drawn from the ranks of our Member Societies. The guidelines include references to other relevant guidelines which are identified, summarized and republished or cited by WGO for the benefit of the practitioner.
WGO Global Guidelines are unique because they utilize “Cascades” which provide various evidence-based diagnostic and treatment options that are scalable to available local resources and infrastructure. Cascades make the WGO Guidelines globally applicable by identifying multiple ways of achieving the best possible outcome by taking the available resources into account.
The guidelines are widely used by practitioners around the world and are currently offered in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Mandarin Chinese. The guidelines are developed free of any commercial influence. The WGO Global Guidelines homepage is available in both Russian and Mandarin.
The WGO engages in advocacy on a global basis as it celebrates World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) annually on May 29, the anniversary of WGO’s founding in Washington, DC, USA in 1958.
Each year WDHD highlights an important topic in the area of digestive health and disease for physicians, allied healthcare professionals, patients and the general public. Topics have included optimal health and nutrition, viral hepatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, enteric infections and their relationship to clean water, clean food and a clean environment, common GI symptoms in the community, liver cancer, and gut microbes. In 2015 WGO focused on “Heartburn: A Global Perspective,” seeking to raise awareness of heartburn and offer a broad overview on this common symptom by providing an understanding of the pathogenesis, investigation and treatment of esophageal symptoms. 2016's theme was “Diet and the Gut: Your Diet and Gut Health,” which sought to raise awareness of the relationship between what we eat and gastrointestinal symptoms. In 2017, the WDHD campaign focused on “Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Navigating Evolving Therapies in an Evolving Disease,” which seeked to provide gastroenterologists and, hence their patients and the lay public, with an understanding of the latest basic and clinical research in the pathogenesis, investigation and treatment of IBD; and seeks to raise awareness of IBD and its management in countries where IBD is being increasingly and newly diagnosed. WDHD 2018 campaign was titled “Viral Hepatitis B, and C: Lift the Global Burden.” 2019's WDHD theme was “Early Diagnosis and Treatment of GI Cancer.”
The theme for the World Digestive Health Day 2020 campaign is "Gut Microbiome: A Global Perspective," co-chaired by Eamonn Quigley (United States) and Uday Ghoshal (India), and guided by a Steering Committee with global representation and expertise. WGO invites you to participate and organize an event for WDHD 2020. Below are just a few of several ways you can participate:
Working with you, our Member Societies, we make the general public, healthcare professionals and governments more aware of issues – local, national, and global – relating to digestive health, nutrition and digestive diseases. The WDHD campaign has to date reached thousands through seminars, public campaigns, courses and press conferences. During the 2014-2019 campaigns alone, over 40 countries participated in WDHD. During those years, more than 135 events took place around the world, with similar distribution between WGO’s four regions – Africa/Middle East, Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe.
As a federation of Member Societies, together we create a powerful mechanism by which we can meaningfully impact the ability of organizations and regions with lesser resources to grow, thrive, and serve the needs of their constituencies. Partnership extends our reach, broadens our influence, and strengthens global knowledge of digestive health.
WGO Makes You and Your Members Active Participants in
the Global Gastroenterology Community!