The Brazilian Osteoporosis Patient Society (SOBRAPCO) has developed a country-wide osteoporosis awareness and action campaign that will be carried out step by step over the next six years. The main objective is to draw attention to what is essentially a neglected disease in Brazil by increasing public awareness of the disease, and collecting statistical data about osteoporosis prevalence. It will be essential to involve different sectors of society, like government authorities, journalists and media, medical societies and other non-profit organizations in the campaign.
The campaign will be launched by a walk/run on Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro for World Osteoporosis Day, 2003. Over a thousand people are expected to attend the walk on the famous beach. Educational brochures about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis will be distributed. If possible, the one-minute risk test and free bone densitometry testing will be provided. In addition, gym clubs in Rio de Janeiro will be invited to send runner groups for a 400 meter relay race. Instead of the usual baton, a bone-shaped baton will be passed from runner to runner.
The event will be organized with the support of partners such as the IOF, Brazilian and state governments, Rio Convention and Visitors Bureau. To get the maximum possible media exposure SOBRAPCO will invite famous TV and movie stars to attend and will involve non-governmental organizations such as medical societies, Viva Rio, the Copacabana Neighborhood Association etc.
For 2004 it is planned to extend the walk to the six most important cities of Brazil so that there is one each of the five regions and in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
||From left: GSK representative Janet Kettels, Myriam Hagen of the Sociedad Brasileira de Patientes con Osteoporose (SOBRAPCO), Roche representative Helen Walicka and IOF CEO Daniel Navid.
"Knochenschule" ("Bone School") is a countrywide interactive touring exhibition about bone health and osteoporosis launched by the Bundesselbsthilfeverband fuer Osteoporose. The exhibition, which includes showcases, displays, folders and handouts, posters and art, is a learning experience which informs viewers about osteoporosis and how the individual can promote healthy ageing.
Each of the showcases that together make up the exhibition, displays and informs about one theme eg. nutrition, sport, calcium etc. This makes the exhibition flexible so that it can be individualized for different target audiences. It will be displayed in places like rehabilitation clinics, town halls, schools and other public venues. Each exhibition will be in place for about 14 days and will be accompanied by opening celebrations, as well as media and press coverage. The exhibition includes handouts such as small posters, brochures etc to take home and information for the press. Local osteoporosis self-help groups will be integrated and, in the case of rehabilitation clinics or hospitals, the staff will be on hand to answer questions. A website www.knochenschule.de has been set up which reinforces the learning experience through videos, graphics and interactive games.
The exhibition targets three different groups:
- Osteoporosis patients
- People at risk of osteoporosis
- School children aged 12-18
Altogether about 1 million people will be exposed to the exhibition. A hoped-for side effect will be the establishment of new patient self-help groups and a growth in society membership.
The exhibition began touring in May 2003 and is already fully booked for 2003 and 2004.
It is planned that the exhibition will run for 10 years. It is being expanded both in terms of content and scope. Presently "Knochenschule" is developing a personal face a friendly and memorable character with a catchy name that will personify bone. The name of the character and its design have not yet been finalized, but the message extended by the character will be "I know what I can do against osteoporosis". Games, products and related activities will be developed around it.
A great deal of logistical support, preparation and follow-up is necessary to back up the exhibition and extend its effectiveness. A group of people has been engaged to manage the exhibition. The support of artists, medical scientists and patient self-help groups are also essential as well as partnerships with the Bone and Joint Decade and Green Cross.
Partial funding has been acquired from Employee health insurances and the society is in contact with the Ministry of Health and several health foundations to help ensure the financial support for the project over the next few years.
The success of the project will be measured by the number of visits to the website, the feedback from the questionnaires and quizzes, and by press articles appearing in response to the exhibition.
||Mrs. Hildegard Kaltenstadler of the Bundesselbsthilfeverband fur Osteoporose e.v. (BfO) is congratulated by Helen Walicka.
The Arthritis Foundation of India (AFI) is planning a broad-based health and social campaign called "Bone Health a right, realize it." The objectives of the campaign are manifold:
- To promote osteoporosis not only as a health concern but also as a social movement
- To extend the message that osteoporosis has an extraordinarily strong bearing on an individual's life and on society.
- To start education program for children
- To get the government to realize that osteoporosis is a great challenge for women, and its neglect reflects the neglect of women in society
- To get the government to include osteoporosis in its National Health Program and make it a health priority as are diseases like T.B., AIDs, Leprosy
- To make osteoporosis a household name
For the greatest impact the Foundation will partner with various national organizations that have national standing and appeal, such as media organizations, medical societies, children's organizations, yoga institutions etc.
One aspect of the campaign includes a memorandum to the President of India which demands greater emphasis on osteoporosis so that it is added to the list of national health programs, to have insurances make osteoporosis management reimbursable, and to have the government controlled TV channel start awareness and education programs during prime time. Also, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, rickets and vitamin D deficiency problems should be included in the health curriculum of all schools.
AFI also wants to promote a life style change concept for osteoporosis by holding natural cure and yoga classes for its more than 1000 members and journalists. The classes will be held in batches and will be well publicized. This is a means to communicate that osteoporosis prevention can be furthered through positive life style change.
A Bone Health Mela (Fair) will be held on the premises of the Press Club of India, a stone's throw from the parliament buildings. The Health Minister will be invited to inaugurate the mela and members of parliament, eminent journalists wil be invited to watch the informational videos, get a BMD test and learn about osteoporosis. This event should attract wide-spread media coverage.
In association with Gwalior Children's Hospital and Education Trust, an education program for children about the importance of nutrition and screening for rickets, vitamin D deficiency will be carried out. The program will be well publicized so that its impact will be extended to millions of people.
The members of the DMA which include doctors from government hospitals and private practitioners will be encouraged to give one minute risk tests in their practices.
Artists from the national school of drama have been asked to do short skits about osteoporosis in a story form and in simple language which will be shown at the AFI camps.
AFI is in contact with McCann Erickson India to investigate the possibility of getting some important slots on national TV so that a catchy announcement can be shown or interviews with AFI chairman aired.
||Dr. Sharma Sushil of the Arthritis Foundation of India Trust is presented with the certificate and sculpture.