Is­raeli Crohn’s disease group be­comes full mem­ber of Euro­pean fed­er­a­tion

Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By JUDY SIEGEL

Is­rael has be­come the first coun­try out­side Europe to be ac­cepted as a full mem­ber of the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Crohn’s and Ul­cer­a­tive Coli­tis As­so­ci­a­tions (EFCCA).

The chair­man of the Is­rael Crohn’s and Coli­tis As­so­ci­a­tion, Eyal Tzur, said this was a “prece­dent and a show of con­fi­dence” in Is­rael and a “fun­da­men­tal change of coun­tries” that pre­vi­ously had a pan-Euro­pean ap­proach of be­ing a Euro­pean fed­er­a­tion for Euro­peans only.

Five years ago, the Is­raeli as­so­ci­a­tion re­ceived ob­server sta­tus, ap­proved with­out op­po­si­tion by the EFCCA’s 29 mem­ber coun­tries.

Tzur said the about-face shows con­fi­dence in the Is­raeli as­so­ci­a­tion, its pro­fes­sion­al­ism and its achieve­ments. The Euro­pean fed­er­a­tion ad­vances leg­is­la­tion to benefit pa­tients op­po­site the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies and re­search in­sti­tu­tions. The mem­ber as­so­ci­a­tions ex­change in­for­ma­tion and thus ad­vance the service given to pa­tients in the var­i­ous coun­tries, he added.

Named af­ter Dr. Bur­rill Crohn, who first de­scribed the disease in 1932 along with col­leagues Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gor­don Op­pen­heimer, Crohn’s disease be­longs to a group of con­di­tions known as in­flam­ma­tory bowel dis­eases (IBD). Crohn’s disease is a chronic in­flam­ma­tory con­di­tion of the gas­troin­testi­nal tract. It is not the same thing as ul­cer­a­tive coli­tis, an­other type of IBD. The symp­toms of these two ill­nesses are quite sim­i­lar, but the ar­eas af­fected in the gas­troin­testi­nal tract are dif­fer­ent.

The Is­raeli as­so­ci­a­tion is the sole rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Crohn’s and coli­tis pa­tients. It pushes for support of pa­tients and ex­pand­ing pub­lic aware­ness of the con­di­tions, as well as pro­mot­ing re­search, in­clu­sion of rel­e­vant new tech­nolo­gies into the bas­ket of health services and dis­sem­i­nat­ing ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion about the dis­eases and how to cope with them.

It re­cently launched a new service of­fer­ing free coun­sel­ing from a med­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist, with ad­vice re­gard­ing the Na­tional Insurance In­sti­tute, le­gal ad­vice and a hot­line to the health funds.

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