Lighting up landmarks for five million people

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Contributed by IAPO member the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA).

Worldwide, five million people live with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, conditions known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

In most cases the illness can be kept under control with medication, but despite extensive research there is currently no known cause or cure for IBD and little public understanding of the pain and chronic suffering with which IBD patients courageously cope every day of their lives. Alarmingly, the incidence rate for the disease is increasing fast, especially among the young.

38 countries and four continents

World IBD Day is marked on 19 May each year and is led by patient organizations representing 38 countries on four continents including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, 28 European nations through the umbrella organisation the European Federation of Crohn´s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA), Israel, Japan, New Zealand and the United States of America.  Each year more IBD patient organizations and related NGOs are joining worldwide efforts to raise awareness about IBD.

In 2016, the European Federation of Crohn´s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations, together with its member associations and other IBD sister organizations from around the world, are uniting their efforts around the campaign “Improving quality of life for people with IBD” in order to create greater awareness about inflammatory bowel disease and its impact on the quality of life for people with IBD.

Lighting up landmarks

As part of the awareness raising campaign we will be asking local, municipal and regional authorities worldwide to light up famous landmarks in purple (the colour for World IBD Day) in support of our campaign. Images of these highlighted landmarks/buildings will be shared on international and national social media channels. Many associations around the world will hold events, provide detailed information about IBD and issues addressing the quality of life of people with IBD.

Some of the landmarks already confirmed include the Niagara Falls in the US/Canada, the monument of Cristo Luz in Brazil, the little Mermaid in Copenhagen (Denmark), the Carter Fountain in Wellington (New Zealand) and many other landmarks.

At European level, EFCCA is disseminating findings of its recent study, IMPACT, which revealed the negative impact the disease has on the overall quality of life, particularly relating to education, work and private life. EFCCA is lobbying with policy makers on more effective governance to ensure that social, economic and health aspects of people living with IBD are considered in all policies in order to break down barriers, prejudices and discrimination.

More information

Further information please visit the official website or write to

*Image featured is Monumento às Bandeiras, São Paulo, Brazil.