Landmarks illuminate pink and purple for National Eosinophilic Week
National Eosinophilic Week (NEOSW) is 6-12 August 2023: Over 80 landmarks around Australia and New Zealand are illuminating pink and purple (the colours of eosinophils) to raise awareness and in support of people living with eosinophilic diseases. The #EOSLightUp campaign is an initiative of ausEE Inc., Australia’s peak national support and patient advocacy organisation for eosinophilic diseases, who have an established focus on eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases (EGIDs).
Eosinophils are a type of blood cell that have a role in immune system responses to medical conditions such as infections, inflammation, and allergies, to name a few. If a person has too many eosinophils without another known cause, it may be because of an eosinophil-associated disease (EAD). The diagnosis depends on where in the body the eosinophils are found, including the gastrointestinal tract, heart, sinuses, blood, lungs, bladder and connective tissue. In EGIDs, the eosinophils are found in increased numbers in the gastrointestinal tract. The symptoms may include trouble swallowing, food getting stuck in the oesophagus (food pipe), stomach or chest pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. The most known type of EGID is eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE), with the estimated prevalence being 1 in 1,000 people. It is a common cause of food impaction, often requiring emergency medical attention.
Eosinophil-associated diseases are chronic conditions that require ongoing medical care. The symptoms and day-to-day management of these conditions may significantly impact quality of life. The conditions affect both adults and children.
National Eosinophilic Week is an opportunity to raise awareness and inform policymakers about the issues faced by those living with an eosinophilic disease. ausEE Inc. CEO and Founder, Sarah Gray OAM, co-authored a global charter which describes the key elements of quality care, which all people with eosinophil-associated diseases deserve and presents an action plan to improve health and overall well-being for people with EADs. The ’Plain Language Summary of principles for improving the care of people with eosinophil-associated diseases’ can be viewed online here.
ausEE encourages the community to support National Eosinophilic Week by visiting the participating landmarks on the light up night/s and sharing a photo on social media, using the hashtags #EOSLightUp and #EOSaware. View the list of illuminating landmarks at https://eosaware.com/LightUpLandmarks.