There’s a gap in the knowledge landscape of health care professionals about childhood gastrointestinal disease not only in Australia, but internationally. We know it’s an international knowledge gap because mums with reflux babies talk from all corners of the globe, in order to stay sane. We know what we each go through and how little is universally known about this condition. In part, this gap exists because knowledge and technology have moved quickly and much more is known today about gastro-intestinal disease in children than was known even a few years ago. Paediatric gastroenterology is a relatively young field and what paediatric gastroenterologists and surgeons know hasn’t yet been able to find it’s way to many of those who care for very young children. Which is understandable.
On 20 April this year, RISA held its inaugural conference for 220 healthcare professionals (HCPs). It was an outstanding success. Despite some of our volunteers pouring their heart and souls into it, they were struck down with illness so we had a smaller number of volunteers on the day than we'd planned, but it went really smoothly with lovely feedback about the organisation of the day.
There are good reasons to be better educated about paediatric GORD. Paediatric gastroenterology is a relatively young speciality. What is being learned about the causes of GI issues in children, like many areas of human learning, is moving faster than ever before. The pace of knowledge acquisition is astounding. An understanding of and solutions for issues that have plagued families for centuries are now very close to our fingertips. More of what these wonderful specialists know needs to be heard by the general health care profession.
Welcome to the Reflux Infants Support Association’s inaugural conference. “Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease” is quite a mouthful so please excuse the “reflux” abbreviation. I’m Joanne Matthews, and I’m proud to be the National President of this wonderful organisation. We started in 1982 as the less than glamorous “Vomiting Infants Support Association” but the mission’s pretty much remained the same – to help parents deal with the hell-on-earth caused by a child born with severe gastro-intestinal issues. We’ve always been exclusively run by volunteers and almost entirely funded by memberships. And now we’re branching out a bit by trying to help the experts bring their knowledge and wisdom to you – the front line in care of infants and children. I cannot thank you enough for your attendance. We really believe it will make a difference to the lives of thousands of families.
If you weren't able to make it to the 2013 conference but would like to see the presentations, they are available for access via a private youtube channel for a nominal fee! The quality of information is extraordinary. The information is provided at a nominal cost to cover the cost of filming on the day.
The Reflux Infants Support Association Inc (RISA Inc) is very excited to announce that we have organised our first conference for medical professionals to help further promote awareness of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and food allergies and intolerances in infants and children. This conference will coincide with GORD Awareness week and will be held on the 20th of April at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Professor Pete Smith commenced his medical studies at the University of Tasmania. He went on to specialise in paediatrics in Adelaide, before completing his PhD in molecular immunology with Flinders University. He has worked as an allergy specialist at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, and lectured at the Institute of Child Health, University College London. Today, Pete is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Griffith University, where he is conducting research into molecular aspects of pain in allergic conditions.
Please join us for a detailed and comprehensive educational event on Infant Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease. This event will cover all aspects of this common disease from recognition of symptoms, to general management strategies, surgical techniques, food allergy-related conditions and complications related to poor or difficult disease management.
The presenters were two of our members, Dr Naomi Farragher and Jessica Tovey, and they spoke for over an hour on GORD and associated conditions, including the personal impact on families. The presentation was very well received, with excellent feedback. Staff found lots of the information new to them, and many approached the presenters after and discussed how they would use the information to inform and change their practice with families. A few attendees also purchased copies of "Reflux Reality: A Guide for Families" by Glenda Blanch, so that they could read further on the topic.