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Interview with Professor Lars Lidgren, Chair of the Bone & Joint Decade International Steering Committee.

For IOF members:
please read memo regarding BJD

Editorial by P.D. Delmas and M. Anderson (PDF, 190 KB) which appeared in Osteoporosis International (2000) 11:95-97


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Bone & Joint Decade 2000-2010

Musculo-skeletal conditions are the most common causes of severe long-term pain and physical disability, affecting hundreds of million of people across the world. The impact from bone and joint disorders on society, the healthcare system and on the individual led to a proposal for the Decade of the Bone and Joint (BJD) from 2000 to 2010.

   Logo Bone and Joint Decade

The goal of BJD is to improve the health-related quality of life for people with musculoskeletal disorders by raising awareness, empowering patients to participate in their health care, promoting cost-effective prevention and treatment, and acquiring research funding. At their World Network Conference in Beijing in September 2004, the Bone and Joint Decade appointed Mrs. Mary Anderson, IOF board member, as a BJD International Ambassador.

The Steering Committee represents osteoporosis patient groups as well as orthopaedic surgeons, rheumatologists and specialists in rehabilitation medicine. The inclusion of a representative of International Osteoporosis Foundation on the Steering Committee shows the BJD's commitment to seeking partnership with patients and the general public. Steering Committee member Mr. Armin Kuder represents patients with joint diseases.

In a message from the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, the Bone and Joint Decade was officially recognized by the UN. This support, together with that of the WHO and the World Bank, has greatly enhanced and strengthened the credibility of the Decade. It also gives the BJD access to the public relations machinery of these large bodies. Read the official letter of support by Kofi Annan (PDF file, 52 KB).

Mary Anderson, former IOF Executive Director and BJD steering committee member, says "We are looking for synergies between IOF and the Decade, because in the non-profit world it makes sense to pool available resources for maximum benefit". To help create these synergies at a national level, a national co-ordinator has been appointed for every nation to form a National Action Network (NAN) of professional and patient organisations involved in musculoskeletal disorders. IOF is encouraging its member societies to participate in their respective NANs. For further information and contacts to NAN coordinators in your country, see the BJD website.

NAN meeting in Oman

In November 2000, IOF board member Joyce Gordon represented IOF at a NAN meeting in Oman whose theme, "Creating Success through Synergy", defines the goals of the NAN.

Launch of the Decade

The Decade was officially launched at a Press Conference and Educational Program on January 13th 2000 at the Hôtel Président Wilson, Geneva, followed in the evening by a Gala Dinner where some 200 international guests marked the occasion.

Bone and Joint Decade Launch

Prof. J.D. Croft, USA (joint diseases), Mr. B. Bivans, World Bank, Switzerland (trauma and global road safety partnership), Prof. J. Dequeker, Belgium (osteoporosis), Prof. S.L. Weinstein, USA (childhood conditions), and Prof. H.Vasey, Switzerland (spinal disorders) at the Bone and Joint Decade Launch on January 13th, 2000 in Geneva

Osteoporosis group at the BJD gala dinner

Osteoporosis group at the BJD gala dinner, January 2000, Geneva. From left to right: Dr. Gyula Poor, Hungary; Mrs. Linda Edwards, UK; Dr. Maria Luisa Bianchi, Italy; Mrs. Mary Anderson, International; Dr. René Rizzoli, Switzerland

After the Bone & Joint Decade's official launch a 2-day workshop was held by WHO, opened by its Director General Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland. Dr Brundtland gave her views on the importance of musculoskeletal disorders, and osteoporosis in particular, to the burden of disease in both the developed and developing world. She noted that "the available data leave little doubt that osteoporosis is reaching epidemic proportions". WHO aims to prevent chronic musculoskeletal diseases by integrating them into comprehensive noncommunicable disease prevention and control programs. Dr Brundtland highlighted the role of the Bone & Joint Decade 2000-2010 in improving the health-related quality of life for people with musculoskeletal disorders throughout the world.

Osteoporosis delegation at opening speech

Osteoporosis delegation at Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland's opening speech

The workshop examined the burden of musculo-skeletal conditions at the start of the new millennium. Findings from the "Bone and Joint Decade Monitor Project – Global Burden of Disease" were presented, giving findings on global incidence, prevalence and impact to the individual, family and society. A consensus on how to quantify disability caused by musculo-skeletal conditions as well as general and disease specific indicators of health and economic impact and outcome of musculo-skeletal conditions for prospective global use was agreed.

For further information please see the BJD website or contact the BJD Secretariat:

Agneta Jonsson
The Bone and Joint Decade Secretariat
Dep. of Orthopaedics
University Hospital
SE 22185 Lund, Sweden

Phone: +46 46 17 71 61
Fax: +46 46 17 71 67

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