South marks awareness day

Southland has high rates of bowel disease

Last updated 11:00 08/10/2012
Julie Burgess
DOUG FIELD/Fairfax NZ
President Julie Burgess talks at the Bowel Awareness Seminar on Saturday, which was World Ostomy Day, at Club Southland in Invercargill.

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The president of the Southland Ostomy Society was disappointed more members of the public did not show up to a bowel awareness day on Saturday but says those who did left well-educated.

Julie Burgess said the Let's Be Heard open day, held at Club Southland, was also a celebration of World Ostomy Day, which was held every three years and celebrated the lives of ostomates and their achievements.

About 50 people attended the event, which featured talks from a range of experts, including medical perspectives, products, diet and nutrition and the history of the Ostomy Society.

The day was to raise awareness and it had been hoped more members of the public would attend to learn more, Mrs Burgess said.

"We sent flyers to all of our members as well as advertising...I don't think the general public got the impression they could have dropped in.''

It wasn't just a day about bowel cancer but bowel awareness.

"It was to make people more aware of bowel health and prevent diseases in the future,'' she said.

The event had not been held in Southland for 17 years, and she was unsure if something similar would be held next year. They would have an event to coincide with the next World Ostomy Day in three years.

Southland has one of the highest rates of bowel disease in New Zealand.

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- The Southland Times

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