Letter from the IASP President
Dear IASP members and supporters,
I am pleased to announce the 2012-2013 Global Year Against Visceral Pain campaign, which will launch on Monday, October 15, 2012. This year, the IASP initiative will focus global attention on pain that originates in or near the internal organs of the body.
Visceral pain is the most frequent form of pain, felt by most people at one time or another, the number one reason for patients to seek medical attention, and yet it is insufficiently treated as it is considered just a symptom of an underlying disease: if we treat the disease the pain will go away - an approach that ignores that many forms of visceral pain are diseases in their own right and require focused and specific therapies.
Monday's launch includes a press release in a variety of languages, a series of fact sheets examining the many aspects of visceral pain, a poster, and other resources for you to learn more about this important topic. Many are available to download at no cost.
Urogenital pain expert Timothy Ness, MD, PhD (USA) and gastroenterologist Qasim Aziz, PhD, FRCP (UK), led an international IASP task force to plan this year's campaign and author the fact sheets. These initial nine fact sheets are available to download free in five World Health Organization (WHO) languages (English, French, Spanish, simple Chinese, and Arabic). Later in the year, IASP will post additional fact sheets and translations, as well as announcements of events and meetings that are planned on the visceral pain theme. We encourage you to join the campaign in a variety of ways:
- Disseminate information on visceral pain throughout the world.
- Educate pain researchers and clinicians in your region, as well as the larger global community of health care professionals who interact with patients.
- Increase awareness of visceral pain among government officials, media, and the general public worldwide.
- Encourage government leaders, research institutions, and other key decision-makers to support more research, ultimately producing more effective and accessible treatment methods and outcomes for those who suffer from visceral pain.
Throughout the one-year campaign, IASP members and chapters will organize meetings, symposia, patient-education events, publications, and many other efforts exploring different aspects of visceral pain. News of these efforts will be posted on the IASP website and emailed to all IASP members and those who join our Global Year mailing list.
Since collaboration and participation are essential to the success of the Global Year campaign, this year's Global Year Against Visceral Pain Task Force worked with the European Federation of IASP Chapters (EFIC) to coordinate the themes of the IASP Global Year Against Pain and the European Year Against Pain. Other exciting collaborations and ventures will be announced as the year progresses.
I encourage you to get involved in activities and events that relate to the Global Year. Whether you help to plan and organize an event, deliver a talk related to visceral pain, or attend a meeting to show your support, I thank you in advance for helping to increase understanding of visceral pain around the globe. Please contact your local IASP chapter, or the IASP office at IASPdesk@iasp-pain.org, for more information. We look forward to your active involvement in this important advocacy campaign.
I count on your help and involvement in promoting treatment for this most common form of pain that is insufficiently recognized and poorly treated. Get involved in your local institution to draw attention to this unmet medical need. Millions of pain sufferers throughout the world will benefit from our joint effort. They need our passion and our commitment.
Fernando Cervero, MD, PhD, DSc