Valencia, Spain – Today, more than 130 osteoporosis patient society representatives gathered in Valencia, Spain for the opening of the 13th IOF World Wide Conference of Osteoporosis Patient Societies.
Osteoporosis is a widespread and chronic bone disease which results in fractures in as many as one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 worldwide. International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) CEO Patrice McKenney stated, “Osteoporotic fractures, which can cause long-term debilitation and chronic pain, pose an immense human and socio-economic problem in ageing societies around the world. This is an important conference in that it gives IOF member societies the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn creative new strategies to fight this serious disease.”
The two-and-a-half day programme of lectures, workshops, panel discussions, and award presentations are geared to providing the patient societies with new skills and knowledge.
A predominant theme at the conference will be social media and its potential to change the way non-profits communicate with patients, the public, and the community at large. In addition to the keynote lecture on this topic, the conference will feature IOF’s global media launch of ‘OsteoLink’ , the world’s first osteoporosis social network which is now being piloted in several European countries.
“Osteoporosis patient societies around the world are doing outstanding work at the grass roots level. Whether running patient self-help groups or engaging health policy officials in dialogue, the dedicated people who run the societies – most often volunteers working on a shoe-string budget – deserve recognition and support for their important work,” said IOF COO Judy Stenmark.
Osteoporosis, in which the bones become porous and break easily, is one of the world’s most common and debilitating diseases. The result: pain, loss of movement, inability to perform daily chores, and in some cases, death. Worldwide, one out of two women over 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will one out of five men Osteoporosis can, to a certain extent, be prevented, if it can be easily diagnosed and effective treatments are available. Nevertheless, osteoporosis often remains under-diagnosed and under-treated, leaving people at unnecessary risk of fracture.
About the IOF
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is a not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization dedicated to the worldwide fight against osteoporosis, the disease known as “the silent epidemic”. IOF’s members – scientific researchers, patient, medical and research societies and industry representatives from around the world – share a common vision of a world without osteoporotic fractures. IOF, with headquarters in Switzerland, currently includes 196 member societies in 92 countries, regions and territories. Among its numerous programmes and activities, IOF mobilises the global osteoporosis movement on World Osteoporosis Day every year and organises the IOF World Wide Conference of Osteoporosis Patient Societies every two years.