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World IBD Day 2022 - Crohn's and Colitis NZ

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

There are over 5 million people worldwide who are challenged daily by the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (also known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or "IBD"). 20,000 of them live in our small country, which has the third highest rates of these diseases in the world.

Every year, World IBD Day is observed in fifty countries. It commemorates people of all ages who are affected by these diseases, from the very young to the very elderly. New Zealand’s World IBD Day will take place in the Grand Hall of Parliament on 17 May.

This year’s IBD event will feature the unveiling of a professional video in which patients across the age spectrum speak very candidly about what it is like to live with IBD. While their symptoms are the same, their challenges at different stages of their lives are very different. Throughout the Grand Hall there will also be an exhibit of over 100 personal stories that New Zealanders with Crohn’s and colitis have shared to convey the enormous impact these diseases have on their lives.

The event is being hosted by Brooke Van Velden, MP, who, along with several other MP’s, has worked very hard to support the IBD community.

Dr. Richard Stein, gastroenterologist and Chairman of Crohn’s and Colitis New Zealand Charitable Trust explains that "These are silent diseases for which there is no cure. They cause symptoms that most people would have difficulty imagining: chronic bloody diarrhoea, severe abdominal pain, and intractable fatigue. While symptoms can often be controlled with potent immunosuppressive medications, this is not always the case. Frequent hospitalisations and surgeries to remove affected portions of the bowel are too often the result. The emotional, social, and financial impact on patients and their whanau is huge. We are patiently waiting for newer medications to be funded here."

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