Brussels becomes a centre for osteoarthritis awareness

Brussels is expected to attract some 5,000 members of the public for two free-of-charge days of conferences and activities relating to Osteoarthritis.

The second edition of WODIES (World Osteoarthritis Day Intergenerational Events) will be held at the SQUARE venue, 14th-15th September 2019.

Unlike traditional conference events, WODIES is tailored specifically to the general public, with the objective of raising awareness and showcasing means preventions, innovations and new advances in treatments around osteoarthritis. 

The event draws on a core of local academic and event organising talent. WODIES was started by the Belgium-based Fondation Arthrose (the Osteoarthritis Foundation), and is supported by major congress management agency MCI Brussels, and tourism department Speakers include local members of the French League Against Rheumatism (AFLAR), and professors and doctors from the University of Liège. The event has also won the backing of the Mayor of Brussels, Philippe Close.

As well as conferences with professionals ranging from physicians, psychologists, policymakers, researchers, sports scientists, and nutritionists, sessions will include activities such as Tai Chi, Nordic walking and yoga, a children’s fun run, and a philanthropic gala dinner.

There will be veterinarians available to domestic pets and their owners who have concerns about osteoarthritis in their animals.

Meanwhile, event patron and Belgian table tennis champion Jean-Michel Saive will put on a show of his skills, as well as participating in a debate on sport and osteoarthritis led by Philippe Antoine, RTBF sports journalist.

Current Fondation Arthrose Chairperson Professor Yves Henroti is based at the University of Liège. He says: Six hundred million people will be affected by osteoarthritis worldwide in 2050! Unfortunately, the number of affected people will continue to increase during the next decade because of several factors like population growth, ageing due to increased life expectancy, increased obesity prevalence and lack of treatment able to stop the progression of the disease.

“For all these reasons, osteoarthritis is considered as a public health problem and should be a research priority. It is urgent to accelerate the development of new therapies with less adverse effect, with a better efficacy on symptoms and with an action on the disease progression. Another urgent need is prevention! By reducing weight in overweight patients, by changing eating habits, by preventing joint trauma, or by better treatment of co-morbidities, it is possible to prevent osteoarthritis incidence and progression. Osteoarthritic patients need to listen, to be heard and to be defended. It is for them, their relatives and health professionals that the Osteoarthritis Foundation organized the World Osteoarthritis Day Intergenerational Events (WODIES), a unique event fully dedicated to osteoarthritis.”