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World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) News and Events

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Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: May/June 2020 - Volume 54 - Issue 5 - p 1-2
doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001346
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World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) 2020—Gut Microbiome: A Global Perspective


Our gut microbiome contains tens of trillions of microorganisms and over 1000 known species of bacteria,1 all of which have many important functions in the human body. It is because of these many functions that it is important that the world understand the research and evidence behind the gut microbiome and what has been shown to be effective. In this way, we can begin to close the gap between inconclusive and confusing information about our diet and our health. It is for this reason that the WGO selected the Gut Microbiome as the focus of the 2020 WDHD campaign.

By increasing awareness worldwide of the role the microbiome plays in overall human health, in particular among low- and middle-income countries, the WGO global network of WGO member societies, partners, and sponsors can raise the level awareness.

WGO will seek to raise awareness of the function of the gut microbiome through its annual public advocacy and awareness campaign, WDHD. WDHD is celebrated each year on May 29 with associated events, activities, and initiatives continuing throughout and beyond the campaign year. WDHD will provide gastroenterologists, hepatologists, their patients, and the lay public with an understanding of the latest basic and clinical research in the gut microbiome. This campaign will endeavor to inform physicians, pharmacists, allied health professionals, health care payers, and the public of the importance of the gut microbiome to overall health. Most especially, we want to ensure that we present information about the gut microbiome in a way that makes it clear what the benefits are and the misinformation about the gut microbiome.

WGO’s task is supported by a Steering Committee with a global perspective. The Steering Committee provides expertise on the gut microbiome, guides the course of the campaign, and develops educational and training materials. In collaboration with WGO Member Societies, WGO Training Centers and Regional Affiliate Associations, the Steering Committee defines this global initiative and provides the resources to sustain the effort throughout the year.

Through a multifaceted campaign, WGO will provide simple messages for the general public to assist them in understanding how the gut microbiome affects the health of our not only the digestive systems but our entire body. Second, WGO will develop information for health care professionals with an emphasis on health care professionals in low-resource, developing regions. Multiple informational pieces are planned and will be distributed worldwide, for patients and health care professionals. Through the WDHD 2020 campaign, WGO looks forward to providing a better understanding and recognition of the gut microbiome. Your participation, through educating the public about the diseases, encouraging participation in screening programs, and promoting a healthy lifestyle, is crucial for the success of this campaign.

On behalf of the Co-Chairs of WDHD 2020 Eamonn Quigley (United States) and Uday Ghoshal (India), Chair of The WGO Foundation and President-Elect of WGO, Guilherme Macedo (Portugal), The WGO Foundation Vice Chair, Richard Hunt (United Kingdom), and the 2020 Steering Committee, Julio Bai (Argentina), Premysl Bercik (Canada), Catherine Buckley (Ireland), Paúl Cárdenas (Ecuador), Henry Cohen (Uruguay), Francisco Guarner (Spain), Kok Ann Gwee (Singapore), Saeed Hamid (Pakistan), Gerald Holtmann (Australia), Dina Kao (Canada), Tarkan Karakan (Turkey), Leonid Lazebnik (Russia), Stephen J.D. O’Keffe (South Africa), Mary Ellen Sanders (United States), Ala Sharara (Lebanon), Fergus Shanahan (Ireland), and Justin Wu (Hong Kong) we look forward to a productive and successful campaign in providing a global perspective on the gut microbiome.


WGO and The WGO Foundation invite you to start planning your WDHD 2020 event today! Although the official date of WDHD 2020 is May 29, many events will take place throughout the year. We challenge you to get involved in the campaign by creating exciting ways to advocate and raise awareness for the early diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal cancer all year long. Take Action and celebrate in your respective communities. WGO and The WGO Foundation are appreciative of all campaign participants and for your continued efforts to support the WDHD campaign. To learn more about WDHD 2020 today visit


  • Host an academic conference or symposium featuring scientific programs, plenaries, poster presentations, or forums on the gut microbiome.
  • Create a toolkit for health care professionals and the general public.
  • Organize a public awareness campaign and disseminate campaign materials through blogs, podcasts, videos, and brochures.
  • Create your own way to TAKE ACTION to support WDHD and share with us.


  • Host a walk-a-thon to rally your community in support of WDHD.
  • Generate awareness by developing a social media campaign and use the hashtags #WDHD2020 and #GutMicrobiome
  • Engage your local media with podcasts, public service announcements, press releases, radio advertisements, or TV interviews.
  • Create your own way to CELEBRATE WDHD and share with us.

Please visit to officially submit your event for inclusion on the WGO meetings and events calendar. Your event may be featured on the WDHD 2020 events and success stories webpage, and in e-WGN, the official newsletter of WGO. To read the latest issue of e-WGN, please visit


On May 29, WGO and The WGO Foundation will celebrate WDHD with a 24-hour social media blitz, beginning at 00:00 UTC. Every hour of the day, WGO will post content to engage with followers around the world. To join the conversation in support of WDHD 2020, snap, post, tweet, and share original photographs and videos of WDHD 2020 celebrations, or wear blue in support of the campaign. Tag WGO on Facebook @WorldGastroOrg and Twitter @WorldGastroOrg, or mention us on Instagram @WorldGastroOrg, and be sure to include the hashtag #WDHD2020 in the post. We encourage you to connect and interact with us on LinkedIn too (search for World Gastroenterology Organisation). To learn more about how to interact with WGO on social media, visit

For more information about WDHD 2020 or to obtain the WDHD 2020 logo visit



WGO is pleased to cohost its biyearly international conference, Gastro 2020, with the Czech Society of Gastroenterology (CSG), in Prague, Czech Republic. This joint meeting will be held from December 3 to 5, 2020.

Registration and abstract submission is open! Gastro 2020 will feature a postgraduate course along with several parallel sessions delivered by local, regional, and international experts covering major issues in gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy, and related disciplines.

Congress will be held in a brand-new spacious and multifunctional congress venue. Prague is easily accessible to visitors coming both from nearby and distant destinations, and it prides itself as having a well-organized and efficient transport system and a substantial number of hotels of all categories. Last but not least, Prague has the reputation of a most attractive, friendly, and safe city for tourists from all over the world.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Prague for an exciting and interactive meeting! For more information please visit


1. European Society for Neurogastroenterology & Motility. “Gut Microbiota Info.” Gut Microbiota for Health. 2020. Available at:
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