World Osteoporosis Day: Focus on ‘Emotional Aspects’
World Osteoporosis Day: Focus on ‘Emotional Aspects’
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. Its major aim is to make
osteoporosis a global public health priority. It provides the perfect platform
for reaching out to healthcare professionals, patients, decision-makers, policymakers, the media, as well as the public at large.

‘World Osteoporosis Day is celebrated annually on 20th October and aims to create global awareness about osteoporosis and the importance of prevention of bone fractures. This could substantially reduce the global burden of the disease.’
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This year also
marks the launch of the 2nd edition of the IOF
Compendium of Osteoporosis
, a key policy document that highlights the regional
and global burden of
osteoporosis and suggests ways to prevent it.

Objectives of World Osteoporosis Day

History of World Osteoporosis Day

World Osteoporosis
Day
was established on 20th October 1996 by the National Osteoporosis
Society, UK, with support from the European Union. The
International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) took charge of organizing the event
from 1997. The World Health Organization (WHO) co-sponsored the celebrations in
1998 and 1999. From 1999 onwards, the IOF decided that World Osteoporosis Day
should have a specific theme. The first such theme focused on ‘Early Detection’.

Focus on ‘Emotional Aspects’: 2019 Osteoporosis
Day Theme

The 2019 World
Osteoporosis Day campaign will have the tagline ‘That’s Osteoporosis’and will showcase
the emotional aspects of living with the disease through impactful visuals and
real-life stories of patients from around the world. The
campaign will highlight the life-changing impact of
osteoporosis
on sufferers with respect to pain, disability, loss of independence, and
inability to carry out everyday tasks.

Osteoporosis and its Complications

Osteoporosis is so called because bones (osteum) start to become porous (porosis), which makes them weak and fragile so that
they break easily. Osteoporosis is a growing global health problem that
respects no country boundaries. It is a silent, underlying cause of painful,
debilitating and life-threatening
fractures
.

The condition is
‘invisible’ with no obvious signs or symptoms – until bones start breaking.
Osteoporotic fractures can occur from minor falls,
bumps, bending, lifting, sudden movements, and even sneezing. Common sites of
fracture are the hip, spine, wrist and upper arm. The major driver of
osteoporosis is a rapid rise in the aging population.

Osteoporosis: Facts & Figures

Ways to Generate Awareness on World
Osteoporosis Day

There are numerous
ways to generate awareness on World Osteoporosis Day, some of which are briefly
highlighted below:

  • Popular Talks: These are highly effective ways of communicating with the
    general public. These talks help lay people to better understand the disease
    and the need for early
    detection and treatment
  • Free Health
    Check-Ups:
    Osteoporosis risk assessment
    can be carried out in these health camps, which provide an ideal
    opportunity for people to interact with leading medical specialists to
    gain essential and reliable information about the disease
  • Information
    Dissemination:
    Osteoporosis related information can be disseminated by
    distributing pamphlets at prominent public places. Posters and banners on
    osteoporosis can also be displayed in schools, colleges, and hospitals to
    create awareness among students, patients and their families
  • Social Media
    Campaigns:
    Mass awareness campaigns can be launched using social
    media, especially among the new generation. Infographics, patient’s
    stories, photos, and videos on the topic of osteoporosis can be shared on
    social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and
    LinkedIn, using the hashtag #WorldOsteoporosisDay
  • Media Coverage: Media coverage
    of events on World Osteoporosis Day is vital for generating awareness
    about the disease. In this regard, press conferences can be held to
    sensitize the media. Moreover, newspaper feature articles on osteoporosis
    by eminent physicians and talk shows with celebrities on TV or radio are
    also extremely effective in spreading the message among the general public

Health Tips for Preventing Osteoporosis

  • Exercise: Regular
    exercise is very important for keeping bones strong and healthy. The most
    appropriate and recommended exercises include weight-bearing,
    muscle-strengthening and balance-training exercises
  • Diet: A diet
    enriched with bone-healthy nutrients is important for preventing
    osteoporosis. The most important nutrients for maintaining optimal bone
    health are calcium, proteins and vitamin D. Calcium can be obtained from
    milk, while proteins are abundant in soy products, meat, fish and
    poultry. Vitamin
    D
    is synthesized in the body in adequate amounts by exposure to
    sunshine
  • Lifestyle: Adopting a
    healthy and active lifestyle helps in keeping the bones and joints in
    pristine condition. It is very important to maintain healthy body weight,
    and avoid negative lifestyle
    habits
    , such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
  • Health-Seeking
    Behavior:
    Regular health check-ups are important for the detection of
    early warning signs so that adequate preventive measures can be taken. A
    history of recurrent fractures or specific diseases and medications that affect bone
    density
    are early
    predictors of osteoporosis in old age
  • Preventive Therapy: In case of early
    warning signs of osteoporosis such as a propensity for fractures,
    preventive treatment should be sought to protect and strengthen the bones
    by taking medications and nutritional supplements.

Conclusion

What better way to
conclude than through the words of Professor Cyrus Cooper, President of IOF,
who says: “World Osteoporosis Day is a key date in the
bone field. It’s an occasion when people around the globe unite to put the
spotlight on the immense global burden caused by osteoporosis.”

References :

  1. World Osteoporosis Day: October 20(http://worldosteoporosisday.org/)
  2. World Osteoporosis Day 2019(https://ncdalliance.org/news-events/event/world-osteoporosis-day-2019)
  3. World Osteoporosis Day: Resources(http://worldosteoporosisday.org/resources)
  4. World Osteoporosis Day(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Osteoporosis_Day)

Source: Medindia

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