The week starts on the 16th which is International Coeliac Day. The aim of the week is to create awareness on Coeliac disease, gluten and lactose intolerance. As part of the week two online Q&A sessions will be held, one with a certified nutritionist Jessica Borg Ghigo on the 16th at 6.00pm on Facebook live. Another one with the Association scheduled for the 20th May at 6.00pm as well.
A series of videos have been created to help bring awareness on coeliac disease. These aim to show how different individuals of different ages are managing their lives. Furthermore, a number of supermarkets and brands are supporting the initiative with offers along with distributing leaflets and information.
Theme for this year’s week
This year the week also has a specific focus on kids. The Coeliac Association Malta wants to highlight the importance of having kids diagnosed for Coeliac disease. It is important to test your child for coeliac disease at the very first signs. This also applies if coeliac disease runs in your family. It is estimated that first-degree relatives (parent, sibling, child) have a 1 in 10 chance of developing coeliac disease themselves. Some other facts relating to children:
- Coeliac disease is the most common food-related chronic disease among children in Europe
- Coeliac disease is one of the most common chronic diseases among children, affecting 1% of children; up to 80% of cases remain undiagnosed in children
- Despite being easy to detect and treat, diagnostic delays for coeliac disease can lead to children reaching 8 years before being diagnosed
- Prevalence in paediatric population has risen in recent decades
- Achieving early diagnosis of coeliac disease is critical to ensuring good lifelong health and providing children with the ability to thrive.
- All children with suspected coeliac disease should have their diagnosis and follow-up appointments established by a paediatrician or paediatric gastroenterologist, with continued access to appropriately skilled paediatric dietetic services.
- The European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) and the Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS) are calling on the EU and its Member States to employ effective detection programmes to achieve early diagnosis of coeliac disease in children.
- Of great importance of getting children diagnosed is the fact that malnutrition can result in lack of growth.
The campaign is sponsored by Alpro, Sheese, BjORG, Kelkin, Galbusera, Proper Chips and Gluten Wise.
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