What Is World Digestive Health Day (WDHD)?

World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) is celebrated annually on May 29. Its aim is to encourage good digestive health while increasing public awareness of stomach and intestinal disorders. Each year, a different digestive disorder is highlighted through a year-long public health advocacy, education and awareness campaign, beginning on WDHD.

The observance was first convened in 2005 by the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO). The theme for that year was ‘Health & Nutrition’. The themes for all the years since are as follows (with links to their official webpages):

2017: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – Navigating Evolving Therapies in an Evolving Disease

2016: Diet and the Gut

2015: Heartburn: A Global Perspective

2014: Gut Microbes – Importance in Health & Disease

2013: Liver Cancer: Act Today. Save Your Life Tomorrow. Awareness. Prevention. Detection. Treatment.

2012: From Heartburn to Constipation – Common GI Symptoms in the Community: Impact and Interpretation

2011: Enteric Infections: Prevention and Management

2010: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

2009: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

2008: Optimal Nutrition in Health and Disease

2007: Viral Hepatitis

2006: Helicobacter Pylori Infection

2005: Health and Nutrition


How to participate

Digestive health is everybody’s business and should be a universal concern. Here are four simple ways to help spread the word:

  1. Develop a social media campaign. Post messages encouraging greater awareness of digestive health and promoting healthy eating and living.
  2. Engage local (traditional) media, i.e., radio, TV, newspaper: call them up, send a press release, a letter to the editor, etc. talking about the importancec of digestive health
  3. Attend or host a local event about the issue. Get a group of friends (or willing strangers) together over tea, light snacks or finger food. Have a chat about what digestive health means to them and what they are doing to maintain healthy lifestyles and eating habits.
  4. Get educated about the issue and have a one-on-one with someone you care about who will listen to you. Talk to them from your heart about why they should take care of their digestive health, and help them make simple, practical resolutions to eat and live healthier.

Source: World Gastroenterology Website: http://www.worldgastroenterology.org/wgo-foundation/wdhd