On Thursday October 18th, in the presence of the Swedish ambassador, the Osteoarthritis Foundation awarded the International Prize Elise Jourdevant to the Swedish researcher, Professor Martin Englund, for lifetime achievement in his scientific career.
The Osteoarthritis Foundation was established in 2015 by health professionals and scientists, as well as patients. Its purpose is to combat arthritis through educational, scientific, philanthropic and humanitarian initiatives. It organises campaigns to provide information and raise awareness, supports basic research and advances the interests of patients with the relevant authorities in healthcare matters.
The second International Prize Elise Jourdevant award ceremony took place in the Palais des Beaux‐Arts. The International Prize Elise Jourdevant was set up by the Osteoarthritis Foundation in order to promote basic research in the field. It is intended to recognise the work of a living European researcher who has made a significant contribution to the understanding, diagnosis, or treatment of arthritis.
The ceremony was followed by a piano performance by famous Belgian pianist Jean‐Claude Vanden Eynden, the Foundation’s newest sponsor. It was a great opportunity to announce plans for the 2019 World Arthritis Day in Brussels ‐ a day dedicated to patients and healthcare professionals organised in partnership with MCI and supported by visit.brussels.
Arthritis is a disease that must be taken seriously
“Arthritis has long been considered to be a degeneration of cartilage associated with aging and an accumulation of excessive mechanical strain. It used to be seen as inevitable and received very little attention from researchers and doctors. Nowadays, we know that arthritis is not only a disease that can affect young adults, but that it is also a risk factor for other diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity. In other words, a person suffering from arthritis of the knee, for example, has a higher chance of dying of heart disease, diabetes or kidney disease. By 2050, 350 million people over the age of 60 will suffer from this disease. Therefore, we must act to improve patients’ quality of life, and especially their general health. Prevention is the gold standard and it must be applied. Getting proper treatment for joint injuries, losing weight and exercising regularly are effective measures to protect and treat painful joints,” says Osteoarthritis Foundation Chairman Yves Henrotin.
Making a living by playing the piano means learning to count on your fingers (Darry Cowl)
Jean‐Claude Vanden Eynden, pianist and sponsor of the Osteoarthritis Foundation, explains his reasons for taking on the sponsor role: “I have agreed to sponsor the Osteoarthritis Foundation because this disease is poorly understood within my profession, and musicians are often among its victims, which interrupts their careers, or, in the worst cases, ends them for good. In addition, prevention should be a priority for art education institutions, and this is not currently the case. It’s during the first years of learning to play a musical instrument that danger stalks young musicians and students, and even a course in proper posture is helpful in avoiding problems in the future.”
World Arthritis Day in Brussels
“For the second edition of World Arthritis Day (WAD), we have joined forces with an event management company in order to give this event a higher and more international profile. We also have the support of visit.brussels in raising international awareness for this event, thereby drawing as many participants from abroad as possible. We want to raise awareness among the general public about the causes and consequences of arthritis and emphasise prevention. WAD participants are therefore asked to participate in introductory tai chi, yoga, gentle gym, and Nordic walking sessions in order to learn how to relieve their pain through appropriate physical activity. Of course, they will be able to attend lectures and meet researchers, associations and healthcare professionals in order to learn more about arthritis and related diseases. In 2017, we brought together no fewer than 1,000 participants in Liège and we hope to draw even more to Brussels,” says Céline Mathy.