The 16 May marks International Coeliac Day 2018. Organised each year by the Association Of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS), the day aims to raise awareness of the condition amongst the general public and healthcare professionals. This year, ESPGHAN have partnered with the AOECS to produce a manifesto for change in paediatric coeliac disease.
Paediatric coeliac disease is common and diagnosing the disease as early as possible is essential for ensuring optimal growth, development and symptom management. Alarmingly, up to 80% of cases remain undiagnosed in children.
ESPGHAN and the AOECS are therefore calling on the EU and its Member States to employ effective detection programmes to achieve early diagnosis of coeliac disease in children. The manifesto outlines three steps to promote earlier diagnosis:
1. Greater public awareness of paediatric coeliac diseases
2. Greater healthcare professional awareness of coeliac disease, its symptoms and the high-risk groups
3. Establishment of national detection programmes for early identification of paediatric coeliac disease
ESPGHAN and the AOECS encourage Member and National Societies to join them in promoting this message through their traditional, online and social channels on International Coeliac Day 2018.
To find out more information about ESPGHAN’s awareness day activity, or if you have any queries about International Coeliac Day, please email Luke Paskins on: media@ espghan.org.